The Nashville Predators have their work cut out for them this offseason, with only a dozen current NHL players locked in for 2012-13. GM David Poile is going to be busy, trying to re-sign current UFAs (Ryan Suter, Hal Gill, Paul Gaustad etc) and RFAs (Shea Weber, Sergei Kostitsyn, Jack MacLellan), while plugging holes left by those bound for elsewhere. For example, Alexander Radulov.
Many believe the Predators and Russian winger are headed for a parting of ways. In which case, GM David Poile would like to get something in return. Perhaps a 23-year-old center from Pittsburgh, as proposed by John Manasso of the Fox Sports Tennessee.
"... Could the Preds swing a deal with Pittsburgh -- whose general manager Ray Shero worked under Poile as the Preds' assistant GM -- with Radulov for Jordan Staal, who becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of 2012-13 and fits Nashville's style? Pittsburgh might not be able to afford Staal, who plays behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin as the Pens' No. 3 center but would be Nashville's No. 1? ..."
This proposition seems a bit far-fetched -- and not only because Radulov is a restricted free agent this summer.
If the Penguins feel pressured to trade Staal for salary cap reasons -- a situation they would rather avoid -- they can be expected to pursue someone, or something (first-round draft pick), other than a 25-year-old who has played all of nine regular season games in the NHL since 2007-08.
This was on ESPN's insider today. I believe that Radulov has the potential to be a top talent in this league... His problem, along with other Russian born players, is that there is no consistency in his game (takes nights off). Maybe being friends with Geno, and seeing how hard/motivated he worked this season would drive him to compete on a regular basis. The Russian connection would definitely be nice!
I am not 100% sold on Radulov, but I couldn't say I would be upset if this took place. We could potentially have a pretty nasty top 6.
Please don't burn me too hard