In his first interview with North American media since he left for Russia and the Kontinental League, Alexander Radulov left the door open for a return to the NHL and denied comments attributed to him in a letter to KHL president, Alexander Medvedev.
Radulov reportedly said: “”I officially state that I want to play in the Kontinental Hockey League in my homeland of Russia and I returned to Russia not so that I could return again to the NHL, but rather to offer all of my efforts and professionalism to the betterment of Russian hockey taking it to a new level.”
But in an interview with Nashville’s Tennessean newspaper, he denied saying those remarks.
“I didn’t say that — that letter was a misunderstanding,” Radulov said.
“I wrote a letter about if (the process) goes to court, I think it should be in Russia because I am in Russia and the team is in Russia. But I never said I don’t want to go back to the NHL or something like that.
“Whatever they decide … if the court says I have to go back (to the NHL), I’ll go back. If it says you’re free, I will stay here until the end of the year for sure because I have a contract here right now. The season has started and I’ve already played 15 games. I can’t just leave my team.”
Radulov signed a three-year deal with Ufa of the KHL in the summer, even though he had one year remaining on an entry-level deal with the Predators.
“The season has just started, I’m playing in Russia and happy the way it’s going now,” Radulov said. “If I stay here, I would stay here for a year and see how things go. I’m not saying no (to the NHL) because I’m not sure what’s going to happen in one year.”