Originally written on Inside Smashville  |  Last updated 3/15/12

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)

Ever since Alexander Radulov’s KHL team, Salavat Yulaev Ufa, was eliminated from the post season late last week, rumors swirled that the right wing could possibly return to the NHL to fulfill the final year of his entry-level contract with the Nashville Predators.

Even before Radulov’s team had been eliminated from the post-season, David Boclair of The City Paper asked whether or not Radulov was the missing piece to Nashville’s Stanley Cup puzzle. Boclair notes that the Predators have always maintained that they would welcome him back and that it is a different team now than the one he left four years ago.

It was reported by TSN that on Monday the necessary paperwork that would see Radulov return to Nashville was being finalized. However, when the KHL’s poster child asked for permission to return to Nashville, the team said he could return in the fall, but not now. Radulov is under contract until April 30th.

Apparently, if the team let him out of the contract now they would lose the rights to the dynamic forward, but if he returned to the NHL in the fall, Salavat would maintain those rights. This news broke on Twitter Thursday morning as Yahoo Sports’ Dmitry Chesnokov tweeted the latest developments in the Radulov saga.

By playing any part of the regular season, Radulov would fulfill the final year of his entry-level contract with Nashville and would enter the off season as a restricted free agent. His motivation to return is no doubt fueled by his desire to get a new contract worth considerably more money.

Whether or not this is the end of the road for Radulov’s return before the end of the regular season is unclear, but Chesnokov did call it a “dead end now.”


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