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Radulov Likely Returning to KHL

(6/19/12) It looks like fantasy owners can kiss Alex Radulov ​good-bye.  After a brief and tumultuous return to the NHL, Radulov appears set to head back to Mother Russia.  His agent Yuri Nikolaev indicated yesterday that negotiations are underway to pave the way for a return to the KHL.

"Alexander no longer has thoughts, watching the sea, whether he should go to the NHL or play in the KHL," Nikolaev told the Russian newspaper Izvestiya.  "We are negotiating with CSKA about a personal contract.  However we are not in CSKA yet; there are matters we have to discuss with the club's general managers."

This is terrible news for Radulov's fantasy owners.  After the excitement of the Russian phenom's return to the NHL, his value now sits at an all-time low.  He's obviously off the table for one-year re-draft leagues, and keeper owners were just dealt a significant blow.  

What should you do if you hold Radulov's rights in a keeper league?  Well, maybe trash the pretend dressing room...  And then unless you have an ultra-deep roster at your disposal and the ability to let him simmer for at least a few years, the only advice we can really give is to cut him.  There's no telling whether he'll ever be back at all, and devoting a precious roster spot to the faint hope of someday having him back doesn't seem like a winning proposition (again, the exception would be ultra-deep leagues).  We can't rule out that Radulov returns in 3 years, but he'd probably top out at 75-80 points, maybe less in a defensive-minded system, and we'd need to foresee elite production to justify hanging onto him.

With that said, before you just dump him, you might as well shop him around and see if you can salvage a little value.  Maybe there's another owner out there willing to buy into the dream of a Radulov return in three years, more mature and at the prime age of 28, taking the NHL by storm with multiple 100-point seasons.  We wouldn't buy it, but all it takes is one believer... can't hurt to try.