After last week’s ruling that awarded Nikolai Zherdev $3.9 million through arbitration, the New York Rangers have elected to allow the forward to become an unrestricted free agent.
“With the additions we’ve been able to make this summer, we feel we’ve been able to add scoring and offense from the wing position,” Rangers general manager Glen Sather said. “Following the arbitration process and subsequent award given, we feel it is in our best interest to walk away and continue to explore all available options to improve our roster.”
In other words, the Rangers disagree with the arbitration decision and think Zherdev to be not worth the money. I’m inclined to agree, as he’s still a relatively unproven forward with one strong season under his belt and nothing but disappointment ever sense. Zherdev had just four goals and four assists in the last 16 regular-season games and went pointless in seven playoff games.
Zherdev has scored 99 goals and 140 assists in 365 NHL games over five seasons. Despite having considerable top-end skill, he’s only shown flashes of brilliance since being drafted by the Blue Jackets in 2003.
In terms of the more immediate future, Zherdev might have an opportunity on another NHL team or he might be able to find employment in the KHL in Russia.
Posted by Jordan Richardson.