Nik got a positive result from his Friday arbitration hearing - he was awarded a raise from the $3.25 qualifying offer the Rangers made (and almost didn't make). If he remains a Ranger he will be paid $3.9 million - less than he was seeking and more than the Rangers want to pay.
But that's a sizable "If". Most reports we're getting indicate that Glen Sather and coach Tortorella have no intention of paying the Russian at that level - especially after his no-show in the playoffs last year (zero points in 80+ minutes versus the Caps).
On the other hand - the Rangers have already used about half of their own 48 hour decision period.
So why the delay? The Rangers had weeks to think about this - and decided to go through the process of the hearing.
It must be that - even if they don't want Nik next year - Glen realizes that the rights to a 20+ goal scorer are worth something - to someone. So the Rangers may be thinking - or feeling out interest in - a sign and trade.
But with the 48 hour clock ticking the time is coming for the Rangers to "shoot or get off the puck". The delay isn't hurting Zherdev - if they cut him loose he will quickly become one of the top UFAs left on the market.
So for all our friends (Anonymous for one) who like Nik Z. - his Ranger life is lingering a few hours longer. And who knows - he may yet end up a Blueshirt for the coming year. For Nik Z fans - Keep hope alive!