Penguins vs. Predators: Alexander Radulov Makes (Second) NHL Debut

Ryan O'LearyFeatured Columnist IMarch 22, 2012

COLUMBUS - JANUARY 12:  Alexander Radulov #47 of the Nashville Predators skates during the NHL game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Nationwide Arena on January 12, 2008 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

It's taken four years, but Alexander Radulov will make—or remake—his Nashville Predators tonight.

The team is in Pittsburgh for a pivotal game in terms of standings for both clubs, but Radulov will remain the biggest focus.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Predators general manager David Poile said, “Adding the best player in the world not currently in the National Hockey League can only help the Nashville Predators."

“Alex is a terrific talent and a proven goal-scorer who will now have a chance to help the Predators and play against the best teams and players in the world. We always believed he would return. We welcome him back and look forward to his contributions,” added Poile.

Radulov's last action in the NHL came in 2007-08, recording 26 goals and 32 assists in 81 games.

The previous season, Radulov had 18 goals and 19 assists in 64 games as a rookie.

Nashville enters tonight's contest one point behind Detroit for fourth place in the Western Conference while Pittsburgh sits three points back of the New York Rangers for the outright Atlantic and Eastern Conference lead.

Radulov should provided even more of a boost to a Predators team ranked first on the power play (21.6) and eighth in goals per game (2.81).

Over the past four seasons Radulov has played for Salavat Yulaev Ufa of the Kontinental Hockey League, winning the KHL scoring title the past two years and league MVP in 2010 and 2011.


Ryan O'Leary is a writer and researcher for Bleacher Report's Video Production Department with seven years experience in the sports industry. Ryan covered the 2010 Vancouver Olympic hockey tournament with CTV and has spent time covering the IIHF World Championships, NHL and collegiate hockey during his career.