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Alexander Radulov to Play in the KHL Next Season, Says Goodbye to NHL

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 22:  Alexander Radulov #47 of the Nashville Predators skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins for the first time in the NHL in four years during the game on March 22, 2012 at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
James Wrabel, Jr.Correspondent IIJanuary 7, 2017

After rumors swirled about potential destinations for the talented winger, former Nashville Predator Alexander Radulov has decided to play in the Kontinental Hockey League next season. Radulov and Nashville cut ties recently and there was thought he could play in the NHL next season for another team.

The news was broken by Dmitry Chesnokov of Puck Daddy yesterday—the same site that wrote a week before that Radulov's rights had been traded to CSKA, managed by former NHL great Sergei Federov.

Sean Gentille of The Sporting News reported several days ago NHL teams interested in Radulov had to move quickly because the winger and his agent were negotiating with CSKA.

The interesting spin on why Radulov will play in the KHL next season isn't necessarily money—it's security. With the NHL CBA expiring on September 15 and the real threat of another work stoppage looming, Radulov felt his best bet was to sign in the KHL to guarantee playing next year. For a player to openly admit the fear of a work stoppage next season as a reason not to stay with the league makes you wonder the gravity of a lockout actually happening.

Or for Radulov, maybe it is about money, as Larry Brooks of the New York Post recently wrote Radulov's next contract could make him the highest paid hockey player in the world

For teams looking for an upgrade on offense without paying a premium price (like Rick Nash would cost in assets to give up or Zach Parise's next contract), Radulov now has to be crossed off the list as an option. Perhaps Calgary's captain Jarome Iginla becomes more appealing should the Flames finally decide to pull the trigger and start a rebuild.

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