Alexander Radulov is probably the best player in hockey not playing in the NHL right now, key phrase being "right now" as numerous reports have stated that Radulov has expressed interest in coming back to the NHL next season.
For those who don't know, Radulov was drafted by the Nashville Predators 15th overall in the 2004 Entry Draft and after putting up 227 points in 127 games (an absurd 1.83 ppg) with the Quebec Remparts, Alexander broke into the NHL in the 2006-07 season and finished 9th in the Calder voting with 37 points in 64 games. After he put up a 58 points in 81 games campaign the next year, Radulov up and left the Predators with a year remaining on his contract to go to the KHL where he continued to put up a point-per-game pace.
After four years dominating the KHL, Radulov got the itch to come back and finish out his contract with the Predators, and during the stretch run of the 2011-12 season, Radulov did exactly that. The dynamic Russian winger put up 7 points in 9 regular season games, as well as 6 points in 8 playoff games that season. Unfortunately, Radulov and teammate Andrei Kostitsyn decided to stay out at an Arizona bar until 5:00am (breaking team curfew) and was suspended by the Predators, creating a pretty embarrassing media situation for Nashville. After the playoffs, Alex picked up his puck and went back to Russia where he continued to just tear up the hockey rink, seemingly satisfied to never to see a NHL game again.
Now these Radulov rumors seem to crop up every once in awhile, but apparently there's more truth to them this go around. Adding a player as talented as Radulov to the Rangers' top six would be a huge boon for the Blueshirts, but should they? I'm not excusing Radulov's behavior off the ice, maybe he just didn't enjoy Nashville, and for a kid from Russia, that could be a rough transition, but there are certain red flags to bringing him over.
Mainly it's that the Russian sniper is quite possibly insane. Radulov is a very passionate hockey player, and by just watching him play you can never say that he won't give you anything less than 100%. The problem is that he may give you 120% and end up costing the team in the end because of his unrestrained intensity. He could put up a hat trick and kill a guy in the same game and it would not surprise me.
However, at 29 years old, it's possible that Radulov gets it and knows that this could be his last shot at achieving success in the NHL and that if he could focus that passion that causes him to go over the line and use it to play on the line, than the Rangers should definitely look into bringing him on board.
It would take some roster finagling in order to fit him into a role that would get him the ice time he needs; the best possible situation could be in the form of a Rick Nash trade which would also serve to get him under the salary cap.
If the Rangers could somehow create both the cap and roster space for him, Jeff Gorton and company should definitely look into adding the eccentric forward. If anything, it'll at least make Rangers games a lot more exciting.