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 ...

20 comments:

joe said...

Still a pretty beat source—even Zipay said it's pretty bleh. He's said all the right things in interviews in Europe about coming back, and he played 3 games in Europe with a broken hand. I'd say that takes a certain amount of determination and guts.

I still don't understand why everyone is piling on him. If anything, we should be happy that he had this rough FIRST playoff series because it just brings his value down.

He's an RFA, and if need be, we can take him to arbitration. Like you said, he's clearly the best talent-wise on this team, and can be had for probably around the $3.25-$3.5 range.

I don't understand how getting rid of a 24-year old player who is a step or two away from being a legit STAR is helping our team. He did just as much as Gomer for 1/3 of the price.

Antropov is gonna be 32, horribly slow, plays soft as hell for an ogre and has never really been anything more than a career second liner.

We're better served by giving Z a 1-year contract, and at the very worst, dumping Zherdev off for picks if it's clear it doesn't work out. Screw Borat—we're gonna need the cap space to sign Dubi and Cally, and then Staal and Girardi the following season.

joe said...

PS. The eulogy on PD was pretty solid

Sloppy Seconds said...

Joe, Antropov just turned 29

Scotty Hockey said...

Joe - Z broke his hand in Europe but he played like it was broken here, fumbling the puck, dodging contact and passing up prime scoring chances. Yes Z is young and was playing in his first playoffs but he has never stepped up his game, risen to the moment. A one year deal wouldn't be bad, but Z has to prove that he is worth it. The way he ended the season proved he wasn't worth much of anything.

Antropov showed some good speed (he did get that breakaway in Game 7 ...) and that he cared - apparently he was caught on tv beating the bench with his stick in frustration during game 6? Sure he can be enigmatic and injury prone, but I would rather see him get a one year deal than Z if we had to pick between the two ...

As for the Eulogy, the PD readers caught two huge gaffes on my part, for which I am very thankful for. I am also thankful for you guys who have come out and called me on mistakes here in the past. Please keep it up.

ark said...

If Z only showed up in 5 games, how did he manage to collect almost 60 points? What about his playmaking in the middle of the season? How many times Dubi, everyone's favorite, wasn't able to score from 10 feet, after getting pass from Z from behind the net? As for playoffs, I bet Ovie wouldn't score any points, had he played with Korpy and Shostrom.

Don't get me wrong, I realize he didn't step up. But did anybody?

This was a crap team this season. Not many players can be good on a crap team. Removing the best player from the crap team just because he wasn't good enough would not make the team any better.

Now you can go on fantasizing about signing up Kovalchuk. Good luck.

ark said...

By the way, Scotty, just read your comments on Z that you linked to in your initial post... I recommend you first wait until somebody finally beats russian team before making more comments on where the "real" hockey is played.

Schram said...

Good bye you lazy communist....we don't need somebody who is scared to take a hit and knows when to step up his game. I hope this becomes true and then we can start focusing on the beginning of a new era without the so-called "superstars"...but then again we still would have Redden. ugh....

Scotty Hockey said...

Ark - There is no denying that the Russian team is outstanding. But there is no denying that all of their best players - with the exception of Alex Morozov - play in the NHL.

Ryan McFadden - The Manic Ranger said...

Needs a better source than that, but if it's true it would be pretty bad for the Rangers as they won't be able to get any return for him.

It was still ridiculous giving him an F.

Jess Rubenstein said...

Scotty

Not meaning to pile on you as I do like your stuff but one of the reasons why it is doubtful that NZ heads back to the KHL is that they are cutting salaries.

As a RFA the Rangers just to keep his rights have to offer him a contract equal to what he earned last season.

NZ is not going to get 3.25 mil anywhere else in the world.

Sather has to offer him that or risk giving away Tyutin and have nothing at all to show for it

joe said...

Yeah, my bad bout those dates, just going off the top of my head when I shoulda been doing something else :x

About Borat, 29 still means he's probably going on the downswing of his career.

I don't know, I just don't feel that tossing our most skilled guy is going to benefit this team at all.

NYR34 said...

OK finally I've subscribed...

By the way, funny stuff on PD with the Caps eulogy. However I think it was the German Panzers that rolled into Rome and flattened the elephants shortly after... ;)

Scotty Hockey said...

I just don't get why everyone is enamored with Pavel Brendl II. Is it because you guys felt good being able to keep a Ranger on your fantasy team, getting a decent contribution from your fifth or sixth winger? This kid is just as gutless as Redden, yet Redden was in a bigger position to hurt the team on the blueline.

Look at the teams still playing in the playoffs and name me a single player on any of the four rosters that disappears as capably as Zherdev does when under pressure. Inferno says to look at Z's body of work and doing that, all I see is frustration and disappointment from a player who is unwilling to put it all on the line and help his team win. He has played 372 NHL games, he isn't a rookie.

And Jess - do you think that Sather cares?

Jessie said...

Yes, I do think Sather cares about just letting him walk and ending up with nothing after trading away very solid defender with a great contract. It may seem like he doesn't care about making crap moves because he does it all the time, but he does care.

Sather will likely qualify him and then try to move him.

joe-who cares about Zherdev's 60 points...he could have had 90 if he cared. The kid can get 60 points in 1/2 a season in his sleep--which is pretty much what he did this year with the rangers.

His play for the majority of the year was shameful and a disgrace. He wants NOTHING to do with the middle of the ice or getting into the scoring areas and if you think his teammates aren't wise to this you are fooling yourself. Players know who is willing to pay the price and the more they see a guy continue to get ice time in spite of NOT making the same sacrifices that they are creates a divide and unrest.

You can't build a winning team while having some players in and some players out. Zherdev's history has proven that he isn't willing to pay the price, ever which is why some pretty smart hockey men in Columbus were doing the dance of joy when they got rid of him. It is Sather's turn to deal with the problem that is Zherdev. It should be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

Schram said...

FI-RE SA-THER!

Ben said...

guys...Zherdev will never be anything more than he is right now. Scotty is 100% dead on here.

he's soft, he's lazy, and he doesn't step his game up in the moment. he will never be more than a 60-65 point scorer who will always leave you wanting more.

all you have to do is watch his body language on the bench and watch him floating out on the ice during the playoffs that show this.

you all should hope he goes back to russia so you don't waste any precious cap space on him...you all know you could use it elsewhere!

ps - scotty, the eulogy on PD was pretty good...even as a caps fan i couldn't help but have a bit of a laugh...a very small one though...

joe said...

Have you guys watched Gabby, the Sedins, and all these other FAs you guys are drooling over? They're all talented, yet soft, players. Finesse guys. Not everyone is a two way player or is good in the corner.

Scotty Hockey said...

The Sedin's never stop working, never stop going to the net. As for Gabby, you will never hear me want him on the Rangers - too much of an injury risk.

Jessie said...

The Sedins are far from soft and lazy.

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