The news that Marion Gaborik would be out of action until December set the New York Rangers into motion to find a suitable offensive replacement. The club has apparently contacted the Nashville Predators about the services of one Alexander Radulov.
That news comes according to a report from the somewhat suspect New York Post, so it probably should be taken with a grain of salt or two.
Gaborik requires shoulder surgery and Glen Sather certainly has his work cut out for him. The Rangers were eliminated by the New Jersey Devils in the post-season and have expressed a need for more offensive punch, even with Gaborik in the line-up. With him out of the line-up, one has to think that the club will be shopping around in the off-season.
According to the New York Post report, Sather has been in contact with Predators GM David Poile about Radulov.
The winger has an offer on the table from CSKA of the Kontinental Hockey League, but word around the campfire says that Radulov would prefer to play in the National Hockey League next season. He had a year left on his entry level deal with the Predators before he bolted to the KHL, so there may be some bad blood between him and the Predators.
For Poile, the alternative to dishing Radulov out to a team like the Rangers is to lose him to the KHL for nothing in return. One has to think that a deal should be reasonably easy to pen, which could mean Radulov could go to the Rangers for a song.
The offer on table from CSKA, which comes from none other than Sergei Fedorov by the way, has to offer some fire to the proceedings.
Radulov, under the current collective bargaining agreement, is two seasons away from eligibility as an unrestricted free agent. That would theoretically mean that it could cost Sather something to secure the rights to deal with Radulov. The wrench in the situation is that there is no CBA in place for the 2012-2013 season, which means that there are still a lot of question marks surrounding the issue.
With the Predators in the playoffs, Radulov was suspended for the third game of his club’s series against the Phoenix Coyotes for violating curfew. Apparently Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn were seen at a Scottsdale bar at one in the morning, leading management to suspend the two of them. With this situation, along with the KHL defection, it’s hardly a leap to imagine the Predators as being more than happy to deal Radulov.
In nine games with the club, Radulov finished with seven points. He added six points in eight playoff games, including five assists.