Alexander Radulov can bypass waivers

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The scene lasted for a good 45 minutes or so.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Billy Daly and Nashville Predators GM David Poile were in discussion over lunch Monday after the GMs meetings broke up.

Neither were available for comment, but my bet is they were once again discussing the possible arrival of Alexander Radulov from Russia.

The star winger played in Nashville in 2006-07 and 2007-08 before bolting to the KHL without completing his three-year, entry-level NHL contract with the Preds. Now his KHL team has been eliminated and rumors around the hockey globe have him considering a possible return to the NHL with Nashville for the rest of this season.

Poile and Daly were in constant contact over the past week because the league had to rule on Radulov’s possible re-entry to the NHL. A source told ESPN.com that the league decided Radulov would not require NHL waivers if he decided to return and he would be eligible for both the regular season and playoffs.

Talk about a bonus for Nashville if that happens. And talk about some possibly angry NHL team rivals.

The league also needed the NHLPA to sign off on it and the union did, a source told ESPN.com.

The carrot at the end of stick here for the 25-year-old sniper, arguably the best player outside the NHL, is that he could burn off the final entry-level year he still owes the Preds, making him a restricted free agent July 1. The Predators would decide how late Radulov could return and still complete his final entry-level year. The league has no restrictions, in this case, as to how late he joins the team.

Will it happen? We’ll soon find out over the next week or so is my guess.