One of the summer’s more interesting free agent signings, winger Alexander Radulov, met for the first time with the Montreal media and Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette transcribed the event. It’s worth a read in full but here are some of the highlights.
- Radulov talked about how “things change,” as you grow older, implying he feels is a more mature player than the one who left Nashville. Of course Radulov, along with then teammate Andrei Kostitsyn, is notoriously remembered for missing curfew the night before a playoff game in Nashville’s second round series against the Coyotes in 2012. After the Predators were eliminated, Radulov left the NHL to return to the KHL.
- He addressed where he might fit into the Canadiens lineup and gave an answer typical of a player by deferring to his coaches.
- Even though Radulov had other options, Florida and Detroit were both rumored to be interested in the skilled winger, his experience as a junior player in Quebec led to him choosing to sign with Montreal.
“We played and we won the Memorial Cup. It was a lot of fun and I saw those fans when they were the happiest people in the world. What can be better than when you make people, fans happy, and that’s the best time.”
Radulov has the skill to be one of the elite offensive wingers in the game and ordinarily securing a player of his ability to a one-year deal worth $5MM would be considered an absolute steal. But given his baggage, no team wanted to go beyond a one year commitment in case it doesn’t work out. Montreal made a similar addition in the summer of 2015 when they signed Alexander Semin to a cheap contract, one which didn’t work out. It’s possible the Radulov signing won’t work out either but it’s a good gamble to take for Montreal given their need for more offensive firepower.
More from the Atlantic Division…..
- Ansar Khan of MLive opened up his mailbag and answered an array of reader questions. Of particular note was the sense of frustration fans are feeling about longtime GM Ken Holland. Not only is Detroit not considered serious Stanley Cup contenders at this point, there is also the impression that some of Holland’s recent re-signings for veteran Red Wing players will serve to hamstring the club’s salary cap situation in future seasons. Again, there’s plenty of insight in the post so feel free to give it a read in its entirety.
- Writing for the Sun Sentinel, Harvey Fialkov discusses the upcoming battle veteran defenseman Steve Kampfer faces to make the Florida roster despite coming off a career-best season with the Panthers. Kampfer appeared in 47 games in 2015-16 and told Fialkov that if not for a late-season injury he would have been in the lineup during the playoffs. Florida made several notable additions to their blue line this summer, bringing in Keith Yandle, Jason Demers and Mark Pysyk to add skill and puck-handling ability to the defense corps. Joining the new trio is young superstar Aaron Ekblad. Jakub Kindl and Alex Petrovic round out the top six on the team’s depth chart. Kampfer is going to face an uphill battle to earn playing time but it’s a battle the veteran depth defender is fairly accustomed to.