Radulov bolts the NHL for Russia, What Does This Mean for the New York Rangers?

Joe CorreiaCorrespondent IJuly 11, 2008

As I'm waking up on this Friday afternoon, I read something that is very disturbing. Even with one year left on his entry level contract with the Nashville Predators, Alexander Radulov has defected to the KHL and signed a 3 year, 12 million dollar deal with Russian club Salavat Yulaev Ufa.

This move is despicable on Radulov's part. However, the first thing that I immediately thought of is how this move impacts the Rangers' crowned jewel prospect, Alexei Cherepanov. Although Cherepanov has expressed the desire on many accounts to play in the NHL, he is set to honor the last year on his contract with Avangard Omsk this upcoming season. This Radulov move has me very worried. It is evident that Radulov went back to his home country to not only play closer to home, but for a bigger payday as well. Who is to say that Cherepanov won't do the same thing, and take home a large check rather than go to the NHL? The lack of transfer agreement between the NHL and KHL makes moves such as this hypothetical one and the move Radulov just pulled off.

I loved the day of the 2007 NHL Draft when Alexei Cherepanov fell into the laps of the New York Rangers. Talent wise, he should have been a top 5 pick, but the possibility that he may never come to play in the NHL is what caused him to fall like a rock on draft day. Now I am really starting to see why this happened. I have cautious optimism that we will see Alexei in a Blueshirt starting in the 09-10 season, but ladies and gentlemen, count me as one worried Ranger fan in light of Radulov's signing in regard to Cherepanov.