Alexander Radulov is a controversial figure in the hockey world. A great talent, probably the best outside the NHL, he has a reported out-clause in his KHL contract, and with various issues facing the league, he'd not be against a return to the NHL.
Considering, on the other hand, the temper and the discipline issues he's faced in the past, can we envision Marc Bergevin ever making an offer for his services if he did become available?
I have faint hope that he would, for these main reasons.
1) Marc Bergevin talked about how they’ll have their meetings and evaluate the team. They can’t fail to see what we do, that we’re missing some Top 6 talent. Heck, the GM brought in Thomas Vanek two seasons ago for that very reason, and saw the results.
As we say, “ils vont se parler dans l’blanc des yeux”, there’s going to be some frank talk.
2) I may be mistaken, but while discipline has been a problem for Mr. Radulov, effort on the ice, passion, has not. That may be a more palatable transgression to the character ethos dear to the brain trust. They may also hope that a more mature player won’t be late for curfew in the playoffs again.
3) Joining the Canadiens, nowadays, affords a player a chance to win, maybe to win it all. They’ve heard of this Carey Price fella.
Plus, and I didn’t research or Google this, but I vaguely remember that he apparently likes Québec City, maybe that plays a part. Montréal acts as an ersatz Québec. Especially if he quartered in Vieux Montréal.
Based on all this, I think we'd have to explore the terrain, at least. It's one of those beggars can’t be choosers situations. With few other options out there to help the Top 6, either in trade or as UFA’s, if he can be a cost-effective boost to the offence, you can’t cross him off the list ipso facto. You have to at least do your due diligence, talk to his agent, former coaches, etc.
EDIT: (June 2, 2015)
I just re-watched the Alex Radulov video where he hits the coach behind him on the bench with his stick. I’d kind of thought/remembered it as that he maybe had been trying to smash the glass behind him in frustration, or that he was trying to ‘scare’ him, but no, it’s clear he totally meant to smash him in the face. He takes two good looks to see where he is, then strikes, and it’s not a ‘love tap’. Even Nick Kypreos would agree it’s a little outside the bounds of acceptability, as far as hitting someone with a stick goes. In polite, civilized company. It’s a ‘don’t do’.
So yeah, I don’t know anymore, I don’t think it’s realistic or desirable for us to make him a Canadien. As much as it might make sense, I don’t know that I can overlook this.