why would Radulov sign a short term deal?

Alright, in my near weekly attempt to burst balloons regarding the wings, I want to say something about the possibility of signing Alex Radulov. For those who don’t know (or remember – dude’s not exactly been seeing a lot of NHL action lately – Radulov jumped ship from Nashville to make a living in the KHL something like six or seven years ago (maybe eight, it’s been a long time) .He was/is incredibly talented, and his leaving opened a massive hole in Nashville’s offensive production. He was a guy a club would look at as being a pillar of their forwards for ten years, he was that good.And then he just up and left after being suspended for partying with a russian buddy while in the playoffs.

And now he wants to come back to the NHL. And he’s been linked to the Wings for obvious reasons, such as averaging less than two goals per game in the playoffs. However, Radulov’s off-the-ice problems of the past hasn’t made his possible signing a slam dunk with a lot of fans. It seems the most enthusiastic endorsements are usually along the lines of, “well, he’s better than what we have and we aren’t in a position to complain,” while a lot of responses are closer to, “screw him, he’s a cancer.”

The truth is we do need a guy like Radulov. We need a center more, but any guy we should be able to look at and say will score 20+ goals for us with regularity would be a wonderful problem to have  at this point. Also, it’s not like we haven’t employed players who we later discover had their fair share of problems. McCarty definitely had his demons, and even a guy like Fedorov had quite the off-ice life going on. So, I think that part of the Radulov saga is overrated. If the Wings think Radulov will show up and produce, they’ve shown the ability to live with some of the extra stuff. Also, Radulov is nearly 30 now and has a kid, and by many reports has calmed the off-ice issues substantially.

A bigger problem, in my eyes anyway, is this idea that I’ve seen that signing Radulov would be okay if it’s on a short deal and the money isn’t exorbitant. Well, yeah, signing a top6 player on the cheap and not being on the hook for a lot of years is always preferable. But why would Radulov do it? The guy is coming back as a straight UFA, he doesn’t have to sign for the ELC like a guy like Panarin. Radulov is going to be looking for some cash here, folks. Also, the Wings are not exactly the cream of the NHL crop. Five years ago, signing a short deal to fit into a lineup of a real Cup contender would have made a lot of sense. Now? Going purely by chances of winning the Cup, there are a lot of teams on equal footing with the Wings. There is absolutely no reason for Radulov to take a discount to sign with us for that reason.

so, why would he give us a discount? well, the most obvious reason is because someone (Datsyuk) gave us a glowing recommendation, and make certain promises to make sure Radulov is employed beyond whatever deal he signs with us to start. Think Dan Cleary for the past three years where we just kept handing out contracts like candy to make good on some promise Holland made to him –  a promise that probably should have landed us in hot water with the league over cap circumvention, but I have to assume having Cleary on the payroll was seen as punishment enough. Do we want to bring in a guy on a short term but with the knowledge that there is likely a promise for more down the road, regardless of play?

in the end, we’re not going to get any serious help on the cheap. There is no reason for a guy like Radulov to sign a deal here for term or money that they can’t easily beat elsewhere. Whatever we sign Radulov/Okposo/Stamkos/whoever for, it’s not likely to be far off from what other teams are offering, and in some cases it’ll likely have to be clearly more than other teams.

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One Response to “why would Radulov sign a short term deal?”

  1. fruscianteredwing Says:

    Playing is safe hasn’t worked in the past 10 years…we definitely need to take a gamble this year. I don’t think anyone is worried about the playoff streak anymore, beyond this point it’s meaningless unless we make another deep run soon. I like the idea of a 1 year audition for radulov, maybe pavel can win him over for us. I like the idea of trading for cam Fowler or trouba, more so Fowler…rumors of p.k. subban being shipped but doubt they would trade within division. Nugent Hopkins…can’t afford 6 mil for a second line center. Tyler Myers also has a high cap hit believe.

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