Today is a big day for our old pal Mr. Nikolai Zherdev.
Check out this scathing piece by Larry Brooks of the NY Post:
The 24-year-old winger, acquired last summer from Columbus in a trade featuring once-untouchable, young defenseman Fedor Tyutin going the other way, was the team’s Art Ross leader with 58 points, with his 23 goals, 35 assists and plus-six rating all second on the club in those respective categories.
From both the statistical viewpoint and CYA analysis, GM Glen Sather would be justified keeping Zherdev, even if he’s awarded $4M. But there is no subjective eyes-on analysis under which Zherdev is worth that investment. His inconsistency was matched only by his indifference.
He barely competed for the puck, rarely went to the front, and hardly ever seemed hungry enough to score that he’d give up his body to drive to the net.
Invisible down the stretch run in which he recorded only two assists in the season’s final seven games while going minus-three, Zherdev disintegrated in the playoffs, going pointless and minus-three in the seven-game defeat to the Caps.
Imagine if Howson didn't unload him last summer? This would still be our mess.
Z's days in New York are definitely numbered regardless of how this arbitration hearing plays out. The bigger question now where does he land?
There are some rumblings that Nashville could be a spot... and let's not kid ourselves, they are desperate enough for help up front that I could see them taking a chance. The Islanders are perhaps another spot but would they want to expose Mr. Enigmatic (been waiting a while to work that word back into a post) to their young studs?
Hey if all else fails there is always the KHL.
This trade just keeps lookin better and better. Especially now that Backman is a memory.
Speaking of the KHL I was thinkin about the Zubov situation after yesterday's announcement and how it was reported that the Jackets never talked to his agent.
That just didn't make any sense to me considering our desperate need for an experienced right handed puck moving power play defensemen.
Then it struck me like a Jarred Boll right hander... who says they needed to talk to his agent? Remember Hitch used to coach the Stars.... surely he's got connections all over the place within that org. A phone call to a player here... a text to a coach there... and perhaps they found out all they needed to know about Zubov and didn't need to talk to his agent.
Remember the NHL is one big club. You just have to get the proper invite to join it... right Balsillie?
Wes Goldstein of CBSSports.com takes a look at the Central Division:
The Jackets were overwhelmed in their first-ever playoff appearance last April, but just getting there was a big step in the right direction. More important though, was signing Rick Nash to an eight-year extension a few weeks ago. Nash wasted no time becoming a franchise player after being drafted first overall in 2002, and he remains the cornerstone of the Jackets' long-term building plan. Getting him to commit was critical.
Meanwhile, GM Scott Howson still has some holes to fill on the blue line and at forward, but he continued the process of steadily upgrading the team he took over two years ago by adding veterans Sami Pahlsson and Mathieu Garon this summer. Pahlsson, one of the league's best defensive centers, makes it three deep down the middle for the Jackets. The team picked up Antoine Vermette at the trade deadline and will get back second-year center Derick Brassard, a Rookie of the Year contender when he went down for the season in January. The award eventually went to the Jackets' Steve Mason, the 20-year-old goalie sensation, who will be backed up by someone who understands the role in Garon. Grade: B+
Be sure to follow the link to vote on who had the best offseason in the Central.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Labels: nikolai zherdev