The on-ice action might have quietened down, but behind the scenes all the KHL’s clubs are scrambling to strengthen their squads for next season.
And over the past week the speculation around the future of team Russia forward Alexander Radulov has intensified, following confirmation that Nashville Predators do not plan to extend his term in Tennessee. The NHL club added that Radulov was considering returning to Russia, having finally put an end to his long-running dispute with the Preds. Unlike the forward’s initial move from Nashville to Salavat Yulaev in 2008, which sparked a row between bosses of both leagues and raised the prospect of Radulov being suspended from international hockey, this time any return home would be with the blessing of his US contract-holders.
It seems that CSKA Moscow, ready to rebuild following a cash injection from new owners Rosneft, might be in the market for the talented right winger. Reports in the Russian media have already linked the Army Club with a swoop for Radulov, who put up 69 points last season, topping the regular season scoring charts. However, New York Rangers might be lining up a bid as well, according to US commentators.
CSKA has already been busy in the transfer market, with Radulov’s brother Igor among the new arrivals in Red-and-Blue. Other new names include Finnish defenseman Mikko Maenpaa, a star with Amur Khabarovsk last term and the second highest-scoring D-man in the competition with 37 regular season points, and Dinamo Riga’s Janis Sprukts, a reliable and hard-working forward.
Other notable moves in the past week have seen Barys Astana wave goodbye to Kevin Dallman but secure the services of Brandon Bochenski for another two seasons. Dallman, who has consistently topped the scoring charts for defensemen since arriving in Kazakhstan at the start of the KHL era, is moving to SKA St. Petersburg. Meanwhile Bochenski, the league’s top goalscorer with 27 last term, has put pen to paper on an extended deal in Astana following a successful debut campaign.