Predators elect to suspend forward Alex Radulov indefinitely without pay

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Nashville Predators are moving forward without Alex Radulov.

The NHL team announced Tuesday that it had suspended the Russian indefinitely without pay after Radulov let a Sept. 1 deadline pass without informing the Predators of his future plans.

Radulov signed a deal with Ufa in Russia’s Continental Hockey League over the summer even though he had one year remaining on a contract with Nashville. Following that, the Predators informed the 22-year-old that he had until Monday to tell them whether he would return to the NHL this season.

“We are disappointed Alex will not be with the Predators at the start of this season,” Nashville GM David Poile said in a statement. “He is a world class player who demonstrated last season, with 26 goals and 58 points, that he is an emerging NHL talent.

“However, since he has not responded to our recent correspondence, we must move forward with our plans for the coming season.”

Radulov was drafted 15th overall by Nashville in 2004 and has spent most of the past two years with the team, scoring 44 goals and 95 points in 145 games.

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Prior to that, he was part of the Quebec Remparts team that won the Memorial Cup in 2006, the same year he led the Canadian Hockey League in scoring.

The Predators are not ruling out Radulov’s return somewhere down the line.

“At some point, we hope Alex will have a desire to return to the NHL and compete in the best league in the world,” said Poile. “We will re-visit his status at that time.

“Until then, we are focused on the players who are representing the Predators and providing them the necessary support and guidance. We will not allow Alex’s situation to be a distraction and, as such, will have no further comment on Alex or his situation.”

The International Ice Hockey Federation suspended Radulov and five others from international competition while investigating transfers between NHL teams and the new Russian league.