: Confirmed with Link:
Alexander Radulov to CSKA Moscow, KHL. 4-Year Deal.
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05-08-2012, 10:20 AM
Qui Gon Dave
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Cheshire, England
Originally Posted by
I think Rads coming in late and not having much practice time with our system and this group of guys really handcuffed what he was able to do. There were moments and flashes of brilliance, but for the most part it felt like he was a square peg trying to be forced into a round hole.
Maybe with an entire offseason and camp to get up to speed, but I dunno.
I think this is a very good point, trying to get to grips once again with the NHL game at the drop of a hat must be a difficult thing to do after playing several years in another league on a different ice surface. I see very, very little KHL action, but at times it seemed to me as if he wasn't playing certain situations according to the way NHL games unfold and may have been approaching them the same way he would have done in a KHL game. If anyone is more familiar with the KHL, does that sound like a reasonable assessment?
It seemed to me that at certain times, often in the neutral zone, he'd receive a pass and slow the game right down, allowing the opposition a chance to get back into position, at which point he'd have to stickhandle his way through tighter traffic to gain the zone or once inside it. He also seemed to shy away from making quick passes in these situations so guys heading up ice would have to stop up at the blueline to allow him to catch up instead of hitting someone in stride with a pass, letting them gain the zone and following them in. I think this was especially the case in the Phoenix series as their defense seemed a bit like Boston's at times, leg it back into the defensive zone and collapse around the net. I felt he could have exploited the Coyotes a little more on Preds breakouts but he slowed the tempo of the game down as if there would still be lots of room on the ice to exploit (like in the KHL) once inside the offensive zone, but that option wasn't afforded to him, especially in the playoffs. I think he can probably find that higher tempo of play quite easily with a training camp but he just had difficulty adjusting from one style of play to the other mid-season.
As for signing him, I hope you guys manage to get him signed up and he finds his higher gears more often in future years. If he can bring his skills to the Preds in future years, I think something like a $5m contract for a few years would be fair, he gets a very strong contract with a few years to re-establish himself in the NHL and then choose what to do when he becomes a UFA, by which time he could be a vital piece of the team and be rewarded with a bigger contract.
I think the bigger issue for Nashville (in terms of bringing in players rather than replacing or losing them) would be finding a new center. A first line center would be huge for you guys but they aren't widely available so a decent C with a skillset different to those you arleady have would be my priority. Using the Habs as an example, instead of someone in the Plekanec/Eller style of center, someone more like Desharnais, who has great vision and passing/playmaking skills. It is a more realistic option than acquiring a top end 1st line C, it suits the needs of the Preds to give at least two wingers some creative support and should be more affordable through free agency or trade and allows you to keep the structure of the team the same by building it with depth on the forward lines.
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