This has got to be the most over-publicized, most over-analyzed, and generally most annoying saga for a SIXTY point scorer. Listen, I like Zherdev, and really wanted him back next year (instead of Kotalik), but for this to continue to grab our attention, it’s just absurd. This will be my last post on this until the result of his hearing comes out (barring significant moves).
This is a bit old, as it came out a week ago. Apparently Zherdev, in an interview with a Russian journalist, is extremely confident that an arbitrator will rule in his favor, and believes that his run in NY is over. The interview is in Russian and can be read here. The translation is at Beyond the Blueshirts, but I just picked out the important parts:
- And what kind of contract will suit you? Would you agree on five million a year?
- First of all, I would like to sign a long-term agreement with the club, for 3-4 years. To have some semblance of stability. As for the number — the bigger the number on the contract, the better.
- Since you’re already familiar with life there, have you thought about remaining overseas after your career ends?
- No, life in America doesn’t suit me. The difference in mentality is too great between us. I dreamed of getting to the NHL for many years. My dream came true. But now, as soon as the season finishes, I’m immediately drawn to Kiev. All my family is there. The NHL is just a job.
- I recall an incident last season when you came to blows on the ice with Steven Stamkos of Tampa. Why were you so upset with the first pick in the 2008 draft?
- He hit me from behind. How else would a normal person react? I could have suffered a concussion. Or become disabled. Adding to my annoyance was that the referee, most likely, slept through the incident. He decided, at least, that Stamkos hit me without breaking the rules. So I fought for the first time in the NHL. I vaguely remember that I fought with him for a few seconds, but then both of us fell down.
Ok, the last question really isn’t that important, but I thought it was amusing to read Zherdev call out refs while talking about his first fight.
All the debate over the head case of Nikolai Zherdev should be put to rest. He’s not a head case, he’s just all about the money. This is a job for him, his heart is in Russia. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. It’s his life. But it’s safe to assume that he will be in the KHL really, really soon, maybe even by next season. He is a very skilled, very homesick player. He met his dream of being in the NHL, but winning isn’t all that important to him. There is nothing wrong with that, but it’s not what the Rangers, or we as fans, want.
I do not say good riddance to Zherdev, he was an exciting player to watch, and if he ever decides to care, can be electric in this league. I say to him good luck, I hope the KHL doesn’t fold, and I hope you get your $5 million a year.
Granted, I would have preferred Slats deal Tyutin for someone who was actually going to be here for more than a year, but beggars can’t be choosers.