Hockey is really picking up in Nashville. The city has taken to the team. The team, in turn, is putting together one of it's best seasons. The Predators are currently second in their division and fourth in the West as they have been putting their staple of physical play on teams all year. The detractors of the Preds have said that they don't have enough offense. Well, now word has come that former Pred Alexander Radulov, who left to play in the KHL overseas, is headed back to town. Radulov got his release from the KHL and the Preds own his rights. Some would say that this is a perfect addition to this team. I, on the other hand, do not agree with this move.
For those that don't know the history of Radulov with the Preds, he has always been known as a talented player. But along with the talent, came issues with maturity. There have been times in the past where he has acted out of frustration towards his team and his coach. Also, what I didn't mention is how he ended up in Russia. He actually left during the season to go play, leaving the Predators high and dry. Now does this seem like a player to add to your mix? People say that he may have grown up. I say he has to show me before I believe that.
Radulov is seen by some as a gifted scorer at the forward position. But my question is, what line does he go on? Where do you fit him in? Do you take away time from David Legwand? Do you sit your leading goal scorer Patrick Hornqvist for a little bit to get him more time to get acclimated? Coach Barry Trotz has a tough decision ahead of him.
Above all the things that Radulov can do on the ice, he could possibly disrupt the team chemistry at the wrong time. There are only 9 or so games left in the season. Is that really enough time to get him in rhythm with the rest of the team? I don't think so. I think with placing him in the rotation, you are taking a serious chance at disrupting what is the most special thing about this team: chemistry.
I'm sure Preds management thought long and hard about this. I'm sure the Ryan Suter and his fellow teammates thought long and hard about this as well. This could be a good move, but it could also be the beginning of the end. I think that by bringing him in, the Preds are taking a chance that they will regret.
What are your thoughts hockey fans? Is this the right move to bring Radulov in? Or will the Predators regret this move?