You’ve got to be kidding me.
We already knew about the Leafs interest in CSKA Moscow defenceman Nikita Zaitsev, what with him visiting Toronto and touring the Leafs’ facilities and pretty much agreeing to a handshake deal that would see him in a blue and white uniform next season. But hey… this is new.
According to AllHockey.ru, members of the Leafs’ front office are currently in Moscow talking contract with Zaitsev and former NHLer Alexander Radulov. Remember him? The former Nashville first-rounder that looked like a star-in-the-making before bolting back to Russia for all those rubles? And then came back to the Predators for like, a handful games and a short playoff run, and the bolted again? Yeah. That guy.
More past the jump…
Here’s a rough translation from AllHockey.ru…
The leaders CSKA Moscow forward Alexander Radulov and defenseman Nikita Zaitsev at the end of this season and left the capital club will move to the club of NHL “Toronto Maple Leafs”.
According AllHockey.Ru , over the past few days in Moscow are the representatives of the Canadian Club, are engaged in a discussion of the details of contracts with hockey players.
Radulov scored 23 goals and 65 points in 53 games for CSKA this year. He’ll turn 30 this summer, so I imagine he still has a lot of hockey left in him. That said, I’m not sure why Toronto would want Radulov (are they ‘going for it’?) or even why Radulov would want Toronto (he knows they’re rebuilding, right?).
I don’t know what exactly is going on here, and in all likelihood it’s bogus. Do I believe that Toronto kicked tires? Well, I believe that this front office is smart enough to kick literally every tire it comes across. That said, I’m not putting much faith in Radulov becoming a Toronto Maple Leaf next season.