Ever since he was a young boy, Alexander Radulov wanted to play hockey. He grew up watching his father play for his hometown club team, and learned how to skate when he was 3 years old; he even remembers how one day he got a new pair of skates and was so happy he went to bed still wearing them. But simply playing local hockey wasn’t going to be enough for him; he was dreaming much, much bigger.
From his early years, right through his teenage years when he first began to play competitive hockey, Radulov recalls waiting expectantly for the weekly NHL highlight show that used to air in Russia.
"It would be all in Russian, and they would show on Saturday morning. I remember the exact time, 11:25 was the time, I remember it," Radulov recalled... "I want to see. I always was dreaming about that,"
Radulov was eventually drafted by the Nashville Predators, but has since bounced back and forth between the NHL and the KHL. He is perhaps best known for an incident during the 2012 playoffs, where he was benched by Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz after missing curfew. But Radulov believes he has grown since then, and is constantly motivating himself to push even further to prove he’s learned from his past mistakes.
"It's different than I was feeling in Montreal. Still, people believe in me," Radulov said. "People give me a contract so now they waiting so I have to show up and I have to play hard and I have to be there every day even when sometimes the things not going well we have to regroup and go and work hard and just be on it and play hard."
You can read more about Radulov’s long hockey career, as well as his experience as a father away from home, in Scott Burnside’s piece here.
As the preseason continues, Nick Caamano continues to impress more and more each day. [SportsDay DFW]
Like the Stars themselves, Shapiro also has a tough challenge approaching him this season:
It's going to be really hard to not quote Marc Methot in every story this season. Such good quote. Insightful and funny.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) September 20, 2017
Ben Bishop talks with Scott Burnside about playing high school hockey in Frisco and his homecoming to the state of Texas. [NHL]
Speaking of Bishop interviews, Bruce LeVine discusses the upcoming season with the Stars’ goalie. [ESPN]
Mike Heika answers some live chat questions, and offers the (potentially) controversial opinion that Jamie Oleksiak and Patrick Nemeth are better fits for Ken Hitchcock’s system then veteran Dan Hamuis. [SportsDay DFW]
If you were hoping to eventually get a detailed game report on the now-famous Benn Brother Bubble Hockey Battle, prepare to be disappointed:
Also, couldn't get this into the story, but asked Jordie Benn about the bubble hockey game against Jamie to win Radulov. He didn't lose. pic.twitter.com/emRUypbK46— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) September 20, 2017
Around the League
Matt Larkin looks at the biggest position battles for each Central Division team, focusing on the “Hanzal or Spezza as 2C” debate for the Stars. [The Hockey News]
Joffrey Lupul has issued an apology on twitter following his comments about how the Toronto Maple Leafs handle LTIR.
The NHL has been pushing referees to be more strict on enforcing faceoff violations this preseason, and it isn’t a very popular change. [SB Nation]
Jared Clinton believes Roman Josi was the right choice as Predators captain all along, but that it’s perhaps better that it happened this year instead of last. [The Hockey News]
DownGoesBrown proposes new-season-resolutions for hockey fans, including how we should approach everyone’s favorite power play strategy: the drop pass. [Sportsnet]
Finally, another former Star has decided to hang up his skates: Erik Cole signed a one day contract with the Carolina Hurricanes so he could retire as a Cane: