Friday, May 15, 2009
Do Pobachennya Nikolai
I said during the playoffs that Nik Zherdev was playing himself out of the NHL and Steve Zipay has an unconfirmed report that it may very well come to pass.
Many of you rallied to Zherdev's defense when I failed him but the fact remains that Zherdev - no matter how many points he scored - didn't have the passion to play for the New York Rangers. Or if he did, he never showed it.
By sheer amount of talent, Zherdev ranks in the top 10 in the league - there is no denying that. He has the best combination of speed and hands that the Rangers have seen at least since Pavel Bure, if not ever. Z also showed good vision of the ice and even defensive awareness.
Zherdev outright dominated five, six games this season with his skill. But, alas, the season was 89 games long and when Z was needed most, he was nowhere to be found. The Rangers were hurting for offense against the Caps and Zherdev pulled his all-too-familiar disappearing routine. Having him vanish from Broadway wouldn't be a bad thing as it would open up some more salary to re-sign the other Nik, Antropov, and help keep the kids (Cally and Dubi). As for testing the free agent market, well, let's just hope that Cycle like the Sedins will be proved wrong ...