March 30, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Nashville Predators right wing Alexander Radulov (47) skates with the puck between Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom (5) and center Pavel Datsyuk (13) in the first period at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

The Radulov Journal: Just How Much is This Gonna Cost?

After a few games that were expected to be tough and hard for the Russian import to adjust, Alexander Radulov is downright scary good in the offensive zone. His puck possession has been solid, he’s been creating chances, and creating space. His filthy dangle from last night is still fresh in our minds. He’s returned a bigger, smarter, and more complete version of the 2008 Radulov who was also a tough guy to play against.

Looking ahead to “The Summer of Uncertainty, Part II- Ryan’s Decision”, will it be time for David Poile and the guys to be something they haven’t been able to be before- pro-active?

The situation with Shea Weber and Ryan Suter looming this summer is due in large part to the uncertainty of ownership in the not so distant past. You have to believe Poile and company wanted to lock up Suter and Weber long-term two years ago, but the Del Biaggio fraud case set this organization back a couple years and hindered the team building by not giving any financial stability. The situation has stabilized, but with whispers of Ryan Suter getting a king’s ransom this summer in the open market may be too much to overcome. That’s a reality. Signing Rinne helps a great deal, but Suter is such a rare commodity and will yield a ridiculous salary unless convinced to stay by Weber, Rinne, and the other core members.

And he should. If Nick Kypreos is right about Suter landing in Minnesota (Really? How much more inferior of a franchise can you get outside of the Central Ohio area?), should some more attention come towards a potentially cheaper asset, Alex Radulov?

Radulov’s contract situation is about as murky as the fog over the Urals, but if he wants to stay? Pay the man. Forwards are cheaper these days. Steven Stamkos was an RFA last summer, signed for a contract getting him an average of $7.5m for the next five years. He’s only the best goal scorer in the league. James Neal was a pending RFA, he’s picking up a cool $5m a year for the next six years. Sure, Radulov’s skill set isn’t similar to either of theirs, but the value to the team is similar. Remember last year’s UFA de la luxure? Brad Richards? His contract construction may be bizarro/Original Six BS, but his cap hit? A manageable $6.75m a year. Shea Weber is scheduled to make about the same as this year, $7.5 Million American Dollars. Ryan Suter shouldn’t be too far behind.

Radulov’s KHL contract was worth about $5 million. It’s hard to believe Nashville wouldn’t be willing to bring him back for slightly more money paid to Martin Erat, and David Legwand. Just a thought there.

David Poile has answered the bell on everything he’s been asked to do, and then some. If Ryan Suter doesn’t want to stay here and be part of a team that is built to contend for years, instead of a team reminiscent of Charlie Brown trying to kick a football and working for a man who ran a franchise into the ground here in Nashville, it’s his loss. His rights can yield something. Look what the rights to Dan Ellis got us.

 

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