According to Larry Brook’s article the Rangers are considering acquiring Alex Radulov’s rights from the Nashville Predators. It seems that the Rangers would like to get this done quickly so they could have a chance to negotiate with the winger. Radulov may end up going back to the KHL for more money if he isn’t signed by the Predators or any other team.
What do I make of all this? Radulov is a very good player with all the talent in the world it seems like. The guy can rack up the points, so I’m not doubting his ability at all. I am however doubting his work ethic.
I’ve seen many sides of Alexander Radulov. I’ve seen him go through defenders to score or make a play, and I’ve also seen him not backcheck whatsoever. I’ve seen these things happen in this years playoffs when the Predators played the Red Wings and Coyotes.
Then there’s also the fact that Radulov and teammate Andrei Kostitsyn were out bar hopping the night before a playoff game. To me that’s a huge red flag. It obviously shows he doesn’t care about the game or his teammates. Why would someone who wanted to come back to the NHL and play in the playoffs go out to a bar the night before a big game? It’s mind boggling to say the least.
Here’s my take: If the Rangers are serious about getting him Tortorella and company have to know what they are getting themselves into. They have to realize that it will be a “challenge” to get him to play to his potential. Radulov can be acquired for cheap and if Tortorella thinks he can get Radulov to play a team game and buy into the system, then I’m all for it. I trust managements judgement if they think acquiring Radulov is the right move.
The worst case scenario though for the Rangers is if they acquire him and he clashes with Tortorella and the team. He then will simply bolt back to Russia to play in the KHL, which to me isn’t fair to the Rangers. There’s nothing they can do to stop him if that were to happen. Also, acquiring Radulov would likely mean the Rangers don’t acquire someone like Zach Parise, Bobby Ryan, or Rick Nash.
Personally I’d take all three of the above mentioned over Radulov if the deals to get them are right. Radulov wouldn’t be a long term solution for the Rangers, while the other three would. Not to mention Radulov is too much of a wild card for my liking. I just don’t know if he will play to his potential if he came to New York, and that’s where my issue with him is.