Thursday, September 3, 2009

Nik and Nik - Reunited in Atlanta?

Very interesting rumor flying around from several sources that ex-Ranger Nik Zherdev may be signing with the Atlanta Thrashers.

This would reunite Zherdev with another ex-Ranger, fellow Russian Nik Antropov, who already signed with Atlanta. In fact - these two would probably play together on the Thrashers' top line.

Funny - at the end of last year we wondered if the two enigmatic Niks would be paired together on a line - but we thought it would be on the Rangers. But neither player seemed like an ideal fit for John Tortorella - who wants players that show up in body and spirit every single night - never a specialty of Zherdev or Antropov who could disappear in plain sight some nights.

The other interesting part of this is that the salary rumors for Zherdev as a Atlanta Thrasher are in the $1 to $2 million dollar range. This is a far cry from the $3.9 million awarded Nik by an Arbitrator - and also well below the $3.25 million qualifying offer the Rangers made for him.

So, once again, against all odds and recent history - the Rangers, in walking away from Zherdev at $3.9 million - there's no other way to say this - look smart. Score one for Glen Sather and company - they did not overpay for this player.

And if Atlanta does sign Zherdev - circle that first Atlanta game at MSG - where Nik and Nik will reunite on Garden ice for that opening faceoff. You won't want to miss it.

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