This thread is about Radulov but I'll make a quick go about this. Your point about a first line center is very valid, we simply lack a legitimate one for next season. Zetterberg cannot do it, while having the skill, he's outskated embarrassingly easy by top centers. Tampa for instance didn't even respect his lanes at times in the playoffs, they just shut off his passing options, caring nothing about him. They could easily step into him if he was to do something "unorthodox" as skating towards the goal, which he did once, if I remember correctly.
I love me some Larkin, but he's so outmatched at number 1 center in skill, physical size/muscle mass and experience that putting him there next season would probably injure him right away and if not, he would regress backwards in development.
Someone else is gonna have to step up, in my opinion. And since I don't think we are gonna make it to the playoffs, I'd say it won't be overly successful.
Lol like who? He gave the next best option after Zetterberg. You do realize we don't have anyone better for 1C? Larkin's going to have to be the one to step up. He's got a nice summer ahead of him and I expect him to go under some rigorous workouts/training with Glendening. Glen and Larkin were workout partners around training camp last year. This time around they have 5 months.
I think you mean the 1 for 26 PP was the reason. 1 more goal scored per game and who knows where thing send up.
You best hope Mantha lives up to the standards and hype you're creating around here. Come next year if he doesn't perform you already know fans will be all over criticizing him. And then ya'll get all worked up "Why is everyone criticizing him??? Hes just a rookie..." The hype train is what screwed Smith, Jurco and Pulkinen over in fans eyes and might even screw Mantha over at this rate.
Radulov would likely be able to play more games and produce around what Datsyuk did (total points wise with higher goal scoring). He won't be the same defensive player but if it's a swap in production for same pay (not cap hit but the actual $5 million or whatever Datsyuk is walking out on) for short term deal then I won't be upset.