Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's Finally Over - Zherdev an ex-Ranger

After too much hashing and rehashing, too much analysis and too much attention - the Nik Zherdev situation has reached it's conclusion.

Your New York Rangers announced today - 48 hours after the Arbitration Ruling - which came 48 hours after the Arbitration Hearing - that they are no longer interested in Nik at the Arbitrator's price of $3.9 million (for one year).

This, finally, moves the enigmatic Russian winger off the Ranger Roster and from RFA to UFA status. Now, like a UFO, this UFA (Unrestricted Free Agent) can mysteriously appear anywhere he likes and can sign with any team for any price.

Why didn't the Ranger cut him loose weeks (or months) ago? They we hoping that they could trade him. It's true that Nik has some value - he can be - when motivated - brilliant. He's a easy 20+ goal scorer with a chance to be quite a bit more.

But - what would another team pay the Rangers for Nick's services when the Blueshirts were due to lose all rights to him in 2 days? Why not wait and take your chances negotiating directly with Nik? Apparently no other team was willing to trade anything the Ranger wanted to sign Nik at $3.9, so everyone waited the Rangers out and - with no remaining options - the Rangers have set the young man free.

So - goodbye Nik. You were a leading scorer here and, if things had broken differently, you could have been a star here. We'll never know exactly how much of Nik's disappearing act was all his own doing - and how much was foisted on him by the treatment and linemates supplied by Slats and Torts. That being said - how he performs elsewhere over the rest of his career will tell us a lot about how the New York Rangers handled this young talented player.


  1. His drawbacks are his to control. No denying he could have been a difference maker in the first round, but the same cn be said for his sad sack team mates. In the 21 regular season games he played post Renney he scored 13 points, getting progressicely worse in April, with only one point. How much of that was his own doing and how much was it the mind €%&? adminstered by that ego maniac nut job of a coach that took over. If you analyze the series against the Caps you'll see that he received, some say earned, approximately 12 minute per game. How he was expected to produce is beyond me, even though by all accounts he was not doing anthing to earn ore. Fair enough.

    I wish him well. I hope he continues to put up his quiet 60 pts per season which apparently don't count. But mark my words, Torts will live out his welcome soon enough. His act will grow tired. That, and watch the parade of injured players under his Helter Skelter approach.

  2. Good points, Anonymous (put a name at the end of your post so I have something better to call you next time - and so I can tell you from other anonymous posters).

    And time will certainly tell. We will see how Zherdev does on another team in another system next year. Renny was very big on conserving his player's energy - so players who don't like to expend energy loved playing for him. Torts is the opposite - so maybe not a good fit for Zherdev. The two of them are better off away from each other. Torts sent a message to his team when he benched Nik for not getting back on defense - but he lost Nik int he process.

    But we'll also see with Torts. He's really happy to be the Ranger coach - and he's got a cup on his resume. He's got an abrasive style - it realy could go either way.

    I wish Zherdev well also. You know - under the previous CB the Rangers would still have the right to match his offer if it were less than 80% of the arb's ruling. But that's no longer in force.

    Thanks for your comment. Keep them coming!