Stu Cowan for the National Post profiles new Canadiens winger Alex Radulov today. The article discusses the obvious pressures of playing in Montreal, as well as the heavy fan attention Radulov has already received. Cowan, and Radulov, also discussed a past incident in which he missed curfew during the playoffs while with the Nashville Predators. Radulov has made it clear he believes that the past is behind him, and that he’s matured over the last four years. It’s mentioned that he’s now married, and a recent father. Real world responsibilities do often have a civilizing effect on people. The Canadiens will have to hope Radulov can prove himself as a player, and a person. In the wake of the P.K. Subban trade, especially after character was cited as a partial reason, Radulov and this year’s Canadiens will be under tremendous scrutiny.
Here’s more from around the Atlantic Division:
- Red Wings GM Ken Holland tells Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press that forward Tomas Jurco will miss the start of training camp with a back injury. Jurco was injured while training in Slovakia, and had surgery on this side of the Atlantic last week. St. James notes that he’ll be far from the only Red Wing absent from early camp, with eight players participating in the World Cup of Hockey. Jurco, 23, had four goals and six points in 44 games for the Red Wings last year. The Red Wings will also be without prospect Vili Saarijarvi, who recently had wrist surgery.
- Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston wrote today about the Maple Leafs’ promotion of new assistant general manager Mark Hunter. In the piece, Johnston quotes GM Lou Lamoriello’s effusive praise of Hunter, and paints a portrait of a determined, hard working executive. Hunter heads up Toronto’s scouting and player development, and previously served as GM of the OHL’s London Knights, a team he still owns. Johnston also speculates about Hunter’s potential to take over for Lamoriello after he retires, while noting that another assistant GM, Kyle Dubas, has long been assumed to be next in line.
- Erik Wollschlager of Today’s Slapshot insists that Sabres prospect Alex Nylander should be in the AHL next year. Since he plays in the OHL on loan from a Swedish team, he’s eligible to play in the AHL, despite remaining junior eligibility. Nylander’s older brother, Leafs prospect William Nylander, played in the AHL this season at age 19. It’s hard to tell if he’s necessarily too good for the OHL, or ready for the AHL, but Wollschlager lays out a strong case.