*Today was Z-Day as the kids are calling it, the day Nik Zherdev and the Rangers headed to arbitration. The ruling should be made in the next two days and the Rangers will make their decision in the next two days after that. As I've said for a while, his departure from Broadway is all but a certainty. While my buddy Eric and several others I know are saying 'I hope the door hits z on the way out,' I do not share the sentiment fully. I certainly have not been a fan of the soft, lazy Zherdev but the potential was certainly alluring and made itself known from time to time. So I won't be heartbroken to see him go, I will be a tad sad. Z follows in a strong line of very talented, yet very flawed players to come through New York, a line that stretches from the poor attitudes of Pierre Larouche and Theo Fleury to the well-past-their-prime Marcel Dionne, Guy Lafleur and Jari Kurri to the physically impared Eric Lindros and Pavel Bure.
*Could Todd Bertuzzi join them? He is saying he wants to come east and a capable power winger might be alluring to Tortorella. I still like the thought of Vinny Prospal (who would be cheaper) but Bert certainly would add an interesting dimension if he still has any wheels left.
*You have to figure that the Dubinsky signing will be imminent, right?
*In the Cycle With The Sedin's re-draft of the NHL I used my second selection, the 41st pick overall, on Dan Boyle. If there is one thing we've learned here in NY, you have to have a power play quarterback if you are to have any success.
*On that note, best wishes to Sergei Zubov, who is heading to the KHL. The Russian league will put him under less wear and tear while keeping him in shape so he can play in the Olympics. Zubi was a hell of a Ranger who I don't think got the credit he deserved as the limelight often went to Brian Leetch. Both were all-world defensemen who could play both sides of the ice. Hopefully we see Zubi again in Vancouver ...
*I. Want. One.
*If you haven't been following him, Third String Goalie was showing off his jersey collection this month with a sweater for each day. While there was a clear Minnesota bias and a Mmmmaaaarrrtttyyy sighting, it is still pretty damn cool and worth checking out.
*Totally off topic -
*Aces Over Brooklyn has been covering the demise of the EPHL. The league is dead but there is a new one taking it's place up in New England. There are rumours that that NEPHL will add teams in Danbury and Brooklyn but nothing solid yet. I made it to Brooklyn for all of one game but had a great time. Minor league hockey can definitely make it in New York, the interest is there and the economy is right for cheap options right now. The Aces would have drew better with a rink that was easier to get to via public transportation - like the Devils (lol).
*The Islanders decided to stop paying for Chris Botta's blog at Islanders Point Blank. While Botta is known for being a good, upright guy, it was always hard for me not to see some impropriety for an 'independent' blog to be paid for by the team that it covered. The same goes for Newsday considering the close advertising relationship between the two ... but Botta has been a class act and hasn't really pulled too many punches that I could see so I have to wish him the best.
*Meanwhile, as Cablevision spins off the Rangers into their own company, the Dark Ranger has announced a spinoff of his own - check it out.
And that is about that for now, I think. If there is anything big on your mind, feel free to drop a line in the comments!