Alexander Radulov might move to NHL next season - report

CSKA Moscow's Alexander Radulov during the Kontinental Hockey League's regular season match between CSKA Moscow and Traktor Chelyabinsk. © Alexey Filippov
Russian ice hockey star Alexander Radulov has reportedly rejected a contract extension with CSKA Moscow and has one eye on a Stateside return to the National Hockey League.

The 29-year-old winger is in the last year of his current deal with the KHL's CSKA and reports suggest he is stalling on prolonging his stay in the Russian capital.

If Radulov opts to see out his contract at the CSKA Ice Palace, he would effectively be able to join an NHL club for free ahead of the 2016-17 campaign.

The KHL star added fuel to the fire with vague comments on Thursday. “I’m a free agent after this season. Let's see,” Radulov told Igor Eronko of Russian outlet Sport-Express.

The Nizhny Tagil-born attacker has spent two stints with the Nashville Predators throughout his career, scoring 47 goals and providing 55 assists in the space of 154 NHL games.

Nashville Predators' Alexander Radulov (L) celebrates his goal against the Detroit Red Wings with his teammate Francis Bouillon in Nashville, Tennessee April 20, 2012. © M.J. Masotti JR

He is second in the KHL all-time scoring list behind Sergei Mozyakin and holds the league’s record for the most career assists.

This season Radulov has netted 13 goals, second in the KHL behind Mozyakin, and offered up 24 assists in 32 games for CSKA. The two-time IIHF world champion signed a four-year deal with the Moscow outfit in 2012 after leaving Nashville, and is believed to earn $9.2 million a year.

The Russian left the NHL in somewhat controversial circumstances after he and his teammate Andrei Kostotsyn were suspended in the Predators’ playoff run in 2012 for breaking curfew.

Colorado Avalanche is thought to be the team Radulov would sign for if he returns to the NHL.

Avs head coach Patrick Roy had the Russian under his tutelage in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the pair could be reunited in Colorado.

Colorado Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy. © Rick Wilking

Radulov’s agent Yuri Nikolaev confirmed to Russian media in May that the duo had spoken about the potential for Radulov to sign for Avalanche next season.

The Russian will be 30 by the time the 2016-17 campaign begins, but his continued impressive record in the KHL will surely convince a number of NHL teams to take a gamble and bring him back to North America.

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