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Alexander Radulov's former welcome back; 'betrayed CSKA'

ALEXANDER RADULOV'S FORMER KHL TEAM SAYS HE'S NOT WELCOME BACK; 'BETRAYED CSKA'

MAY 13, 2022  (9H00)      TIM TUCKER
The Chair of CSKA Moscow, the KHL team Alexander Radulov spent four seasons with, insists the Russian is not welcome back. Radulov left CSKA Moscow in 2016 to sign with the Montreal Canadiens in what would be the beginning of his third NHL stint (he had a short nine game tenure with the Nashville Predators in 2011-12 before once again going back to Russia). The 35-year-old becomes a free agent on July 1st and there is considerable speculation that he'll head home again after what was a season to forget with the Dallas Stars, and being made a healthy scratch in the team's first round playoff series against the Calgary Flames. Igor Esmantovic, Chair of CSKA, said this week he has no interest in signing Radulov, and it's because of the circumstances surrounding his latest departure from the KHL.

"We are not negotiating with Radulov or his agent," Esmantovic said. "A man who betrayed CSKA when he went abroad cannot play for the club in the future. He went to America when there was an agreement that he would sign a contract with CSKA."

"I would like Alexander to be present at this press conference and tell everything himself. I don't really want to talk about it without him. But I'll explain in simple terms what really happened," continued Esmantovic. "I really hope that Radulov has enough wisdom and thought to confirm it. He was offered a five-year contract with CSKA. He agreed to sign it in order to stay in CSKA for a long time. But for two or three months while the regular season and playoffs were going on, he found a way out of the situation and didn't sign the contract. When his deal came to an end, Alexander simply left for North America. That's the whole situation. I think he'll confirm that to you himself. It's no secret. Since he did that, we decided not to go back to him. It's his choice. He lives in America and he probably likes it there."

In his first two seasons in Dallas, Radulov had 70+ points each time. Since then, however, his production has dropped considerably. This season he managed just four goals in 71 games, along with 18 assists for 22 points. He was also a minus-20. He's played in three of the five games against the Calgary Flames in their opening round playoff series, but has failed to hit the scoresheet.

If Radulov intends to head back to Russia, he could look to Ufa Salavat Yulayev. He played for that team for four seasons after leaving the NHL his first time in 2008. No word on whether they'll have him back.

Source: Championat.com