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Radulov's long journey back to the NHL

by Staff
Alexander Radulov, taken by the Nashville Predators with the 15th pick of the 2004 Entry Draft, looked to be emerging as a future star after posting 26 goals in 2007-08, his second NHL season.

After that season, however, Radulov opted to leave the NHL for a contract with Salavat Yulayev Ufa in the Kontinental Hockey League.

With that team's season over, and with one year remaining on his original entry-level contract with the Predators, it appears Radulov is on his way back to Nashville.

Here's a timeline of the last four years for Radulov:

April 20, 2008: Radulov plays his most recent game in a Predators sweater -- a 3-0 loss in Game 6 of the 2008 Western Conference Quarterfinals against Detroit.


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May 18, 2008: Radulov helps Russia claim gold at the 2008 IIHF World Championship in Halifax/Quebec City

July 8, 2008: Reports begin to surface about Radulov's signing with Ufa in the KHL.

July 11, 2008: Predators issue a statement that states they expect Radulov to be a part of the 2008-09 team as a player under contract. The IIHF supports the Predators, and urges the KHL to void Radulov's contract.

July 16, 2008: The KHL decides to allow Radulov's reported three-year $13 million contract.

July 17, 2008: The KHL announces a temporary moratorium on signing NHL players retroactive to July 10 and through at least Aug. 10, but that the agreement did not apply to Radulov, because his contract had been ratified July 5.

July 19, 2008: The IIHF announces it will suspend indefinitely six players, including Radulov, for violating their contractual obligations. The NHLPA voices displeasure and threatens legal action.

Aug. 19, 2008: The Predators send a letter to Radulov notifying him they expect to hear his intentions for the 2008-09 season by Sept. 1.

Sept. 3, 2008: The Predators suspend Radulov indefinitely without pay after he fails to contact the club prior to the Sept. 1 deadline.

Sept. 18, 2008: The NHL and KHL agree to binding arbitration to settle the Radulov contract dispute, but a decision cannot be made on where the case should be heard.

July 2, 2009: Nashville Predators General Manager David Poile tells Nashville City Paper writer David Boclair he doesn't expect Radulov to return to the NHL for the 2009-10 season after conversations with Radulov and his agent, Jay Grossman, at the 2009 IIHF World Championship in Switzerland.

May 8, 2010: Radulov tells the Russian press: "My contract with Salavat is for one more year. Next season I will play in the KHL."

Oct. 22, 2010: Reports surface that Radulov signed a two-year contract extension with Ufa in August of 2010 that would keep him with the team through the 2011-12 season.

June 26, 2011: Poile tells the Nashville media that he talked to Radulov's representatives at the 2011 Entry Draft, and while he doesn't think his return will come in 2011-12, he's more optimistic that he will return to the NHL at some point.

Sept. 30, 2011: Reports surface that Radulov is feuding with Ufa's coach and asks for a trade. He leaves the team for a week, but returns to win the league scoring title for the second straight season.

March 9, 2012: Radulov's team is eliminated from the 2012 Gagarin Cup Playoffs, stoking rumors that his return to North America is imminent. Radulov offers a "no comment" on the future of his playing career.

March 20, 2012: Radulov posts to his Twitter account a picture of himself sitting on an airplane, along with the message: "In the plaine going to new york then Nashville."
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