When the curtain lifts on the 2012-2013 season, there could be a few interesting roster moves to watch play out. The Predators have said they’re cutting ties with Alexander Radulov, and willing to trade him if someone wants him. Alexander Semin has expressed a certain amount of discontent over his playing time with the Capitals (rightfully so). And the Capitals have also told 40 year-old Mike Knuble they won’t be having him back.
Those are some pretty good names you’d like to see fill out your team’s roster. The only problem is…two of ‘em may not be playing on this continent.
Peter Adler of the Edmonton Journal wrote “Fedorov and filthy rich CSKA team are after Radulov, Semin” today. The KHL beckons.
The math kind of adds up. Filthy rich team, disgruntled, talented Russians, Russian team (with GM Sergei Fedorov) trying to make a push to contend for the title. I bet they’d make forklifts of money to go give it a shot, and playing close to home is always an added bonus.
If I’ve learned anything over the past few off-seasons though, it’s that figuring out which players are serious about playing in Russia and which ones are using it as a bargaining chip is near impossible.
In trying to guess with these two talents, Adler is bang on:
Semin will be a free agent as of July 1. His agent, Mark Gandler, has repeatedly shot down news of Semin’s return to Russia but I wouldn’t take that to the bank if I were an NHL team.
The issue is simple: most European players employ different agents to handle their European affairs. More often than not, they choose not to share the details of the European dealings with their North American representatives.
I was working on a contract in Europe before I shattered my face, and I can attest to this point – you always have a second agent for that stuff, so getting confirmation from a North American agent isn’t all that valuable.
If Fedorov offers them them the moon, which I suspect he will (how scary would their offense be, immediately?) it’s possible that this could happen.
Still, my prediction: both guys play in the NHL next year, neither for their current team.
I feel like once you get used to the NHL lifestyle you get spoiled. Also, Radulov came over to burn the remainder of his contract to keep his options open, so you know he’d consider staying in North America. And, in a way, Semin leaving for the KHL after all this time would kind of make him look like a quitter, and nobody wants that rep.
Anything is possible, but I doubt we’ve seen the last of these two snipers.