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Alexander Radulov denies comments that he will never return to the NHL

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.

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“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.”