Originally written on The Predatorial  |  Last updated 11/9/14

DALLAS - JANUARY 23: Western Conference YoungStar Alexander Radulov of the Nashville Predators poses for a portrait at the American Airlines Center on January 23, 2007 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports

I realize that this has been beaten to death, and most Predators fans have taken a firm “Enough already, I’ll believe it when I see it,”  but a recent interview with SovExpress may contain a few pearls of optimism, depending on how willing you are to interpret subtext.

While the topic may be a source of frustration for many, there’s a reason it doesn’t seem to want to go away.  Alexander Radulov is easily the most dynamic, offensively-gifted forward that the Predators have ever drafted.  He scored 26 goals in his first full season with the Preds, and went on to be Nashville’s best forward in their first round matchup with the San Jose Sharks(despite names such as Kariya and Forsberg being on that same roster.)

It’s no secret that consistent, reliable, high-end scoring is the Achilles heel of the Nashville Predators. So when stories surface with quotes from Radulov himself that seem to suggest that a long-awaited return is closer than ever, we can’t help but stand up and take notice.

Full interview from SovExpress, translated and submitted by “RussianSpy.”  Russian text to be posted as soon as I get it:

All i think about these days is Gagarin Cup play-offs.We have all the chances to repeat last year’s succes (Salavat is GC champion)

(But) When the season’s over we’re gonna sit and talk with my both agents Yuri Nikolaev(KHL agent) and Jay Grossman (NA agent), we’re gonna discuss different options. (still he has 1 year more contract with Ufa, but he said earlier he has a vocal agreement with GM of SY Oleg Gross so he CAN come to NA next season)

next he said: “Yes Nashville is trying hard to get me” That’s what’s he said but in a street-gang way, used some non-literature word.

“If we to look back, 4 years ago it was not nice from me to leave like this, but i’ve never said i’m burning any bridges”…

“I’m not ready yet to tell you what chances are 50/50 or 40/60..”

And the most interesting..

“I’m 26 years old(he means still young), i have won everything by this side of the pond (Gagarin Cup, World Championships, MVP KHL play-offs..etc.) but to be honest i often think that i don’t have such a glorious trophy in my collection – Stanley Cup.I was 2 times in a first round of SC play-offs and both times we’ve lost.It’s not good

Obviously there’s room for a good deal of interpretation here, but my modest comprehension is that Radulov, a fierce and energetic competitor, feels that he’s accomplished all he really can in the KHL.  He’s won a league championship, he’s won MVP, he’s won a World Championship.  The fact that he expresses disappointment and a sense of “unfinished business” with the way things ended in his last seasons with the Preds is at least somewhat encouragement.

More directly, he’s stated a desire that coincides with the goal of the team he left behind: he wants to add a Stanley Cup to his collection.

Perhaps he recognizes that now more than ever, the Predators maybe on the precipice of doing just that.

-JN

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