But this isn't going to be the case, according to Radulov's Russian agent Yuri Nikolaev, who told Pavel Lysenkov of Sovetsky Sport: "As of today Alexander Radulov has a contract with Ufa. For two more seasons. And there is a possibility that, with the club's agreement, he can leave for the NHL in 2012."
More of that interview:
Q. You left a window just in case there is a lockout in North America?
NIKOLAEV: "We have to see what will happen. And whether Radulov will indeed go to the NHL. Actually Alexander never denied that he could one day return [to North America]."
And what about this season?
"To the NHL right now? This [option] is not provided."
Interestingly enough, the fact that Radulov may very well come back to the NHL next year is now official.
There is a gentleman's agreement between him and his KHL club. Salavat Yulaev's General Manager Oleg Gross confirmed the same to Sovetsky Sport:
Can Radulov go to the NHL next year?
"It is not provided in his contract. I don't even know where this is coming from."
His agent said so.
"There is no such provision in the contract. There are oral agreements, no more than that. If Radulov really wants to go to the NHL, it can only happen after mutual consent. He has a contract until 2013. Whether Radulov leaves or not, I don't want to get so far ahead. And I don't want to discuss it. I am only asking a person to do his job. To play hockey. The season only just begun…"
And as of Radulov's earlier tweets about his coach getting on Alexander's nerves, Coach Sergey Mikhalev said: "Is it me getting on his nerves? I don't know what Alexander means. I cannot comment on that. Because I have not been getting on his nerves."
More from Mikhalev, via SovSport:
Q. Maybe you should have a face-to-face direct talk?
MIKHALEV: "We did already. Alexander didn't voice any blame to me. Actually I don't want to get into it. It's the same thing I tell Salavat Yulaev's management. Deal with Radulov and not with me. I need for a person to come out and work. I have no other questions for him."
Radulov's agent is in Ufa, after the player publicly requested a trade from Salavat Yulaev. His agent Nikolaev told Sovetsky Sport: "I don't want to comment on that at this time."
More from Nikolaev:
Q. It's not like the media is pulling these things out of Radulov with pliers. He writes about the trade himself on Twitter.
NIKOLAEV: "A player writes and not the agent. Understand me correctly. If there were no questions I wouldn't have come to Ufa. A certain situation came up that I don't want to publicize."
Because Radulov went to Moscow to Ovechkin and Kovalchuk's charity game and Mikhalev then penalized him for going AWOL from the team?
"Nonsense. The penalty is the team's internal business. That's not the issue."
As an agent, are you advising Alexander to chitchat less on Twitter?
"The sport should be the main priority. I understand that Radulov is a big player for Ufa. But why exaggerate this into a scandal?"
Salavat Yulaev's general manager said he will do his best to keep Radulov: "I want Radulov to play for Ufa. And I will do the maximum possible to keep him," said Gross.
From SovSport and GM Oleg Gross:
Q. Will there be a penalty from the club for the fact that Radulov violated 'corporate ethics?'
GROSS: "On Twitter? But this is his personal correspondence."
Not so personal… he had 3544 followers [on Twitter].
"He is a very emotional guy! If Radulov didn't have these emotions, he wouldn't play hockey so great. I am not blaming it all on youth. He is a mature guy. But emotions… Although you have to understand that hockey players are public people… "
There will be much more to this in the future.
- Alexander Radulov
- Sovetsky Sport