If Radulov comes back to NSH Preds will be one scary team, given the fact that they would have two of the best defensmen in the NHL, one of the best PKers in the NHL in Gill, one of the best goalies in the NHL and a game breaking forward in Radulov who would be a great addition to their well balanced forwards unit.
If Radulov comes back and Blum/Josi raises his game they'll be my favourite in the west.
Seems highly unlikely that this would actually happen. If it did happen, I still see the Nucks as the favourites in the west, but Nashville would certainly be strong contenders, right there with the Wings and Blues IMO.
*IF* he wanted to come back this season, and was allowed to come back, that would be great for both Radulov and the Preds. For the Preds, they obviously get Radulov back, but for Radulov himself, one of the big reasons he didn't want to come back is that he still had 1 year left on his rookie deal, so he'd be making peanuts in the NHL vs. good money in the KHL. If he came back this year, I assume that would count for the last year of his rookie deal, so starting next year he could make a high salary in the NHL.
Wow, pretty ****** of Radulov, only coming back when the Preds are looking like cup contenders. Also a short season to burn his ELC off. Still, his offense would be a huge boost to the Preds.
If he's allowed to come back this late in the season (I think it would require NHLPA approval), it would certainly be a great time for him to do so, get rid of that low paid year, and compete for a cup. With that being said, I'm sure the Preds would be PSYCHED to get him back, ELC year burned or not. It's a win-win situation IMO.
I think Nashville could pull off going to the finals, them, St. Louis or Vancouver, I doubt Detroit does it, I say Detroit gets outsmarted this year. But I'm not sure that Radulov can return for the Playoffs, maybe next year but for sure not this year.