Sports Outside the Beltway

Nashville Predators suspend Alexander Radulov for playing in Russian league

Radulov was the team’s 3rd leading scorer last season. From AP-

The Nashville Predators suspended forward Alexander Radulov indefinitely without pay for deciding to stick with his Russian KHL team rather than return to the NHL club.

General manager David Poile announced the suspension Tuesday in a statement. The 22-year-old Radulov had a season left on his entry level contract with the Predators, but signed a contract with a Russian KHL team.

The Predators had given Radulov, their third-leading scorer last season with 58 points, until Monday to let them know if he decided to rejoin the team in time for the upcoming season. The team reports Sept. 19.

I wouldn’t consider this in any way as good news for Nashville. The team gave the eventual Stanley Cup champ Detroit Redwings a spirited fight in the last playoffs before losing in 6 games. This year without Radulov, the Predators may find themselves lucky to finish .500, alone make the playoffs.

Nashville’s actions were justified but will probably be futile. If Radulov doesn’t want to play in the NHL, the team hasn’t a lot of recourse. A little fight will be costly and take time. Its outcome uncertain, even if the Predators won in court, would Russian courts enforce the decision?

Alexander Radulov and the KHL are the villains in this story. For signing two contracts to play pro sports that weren’t compatible. May some bad karma catch up with both of them.

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