Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Rangers deal for Zherdev

Sources tell TSN the Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Rangers have completed a trade. The Rangers will get Nikolai Zherdev and Dan Fritsche, with Fedor Tyutin and Christian Backman going to Columbus.
No rest for the weary.

The Rangers certainly have something funky going on on their blueline. In comes Wade Redden at an unreal price point, Michal Rozsival comes back on a huge contract, and out go two serviceable blueliners on contracts worth a combined $5-million.

Salary coming the other way is Zherdev's $2.5-million deal, with Fritsche, an RFA, yet to be signed.

The deal gives New York a bit more leeway, and they're going to need it given there's now just under $10-million free and only four NHL defencemen on the roster. There's also the little matter of a lack of wingers to address, as Zherdev becomes the third highest paid forward on the team.

If Jaromir Jagr comes back, however, they could be dangerous up front.

For Columbus, they pick up two second-pairing blueliners to go with all of the others they have. The Blue Jackets have essentially replaced Adam Foote and Ron Hainsey (who signed in Atlanta today) with Mike Commodore, Tyutin and Backman.

Zherdev was worth more than they got, and now Rick Nash has even less to work with up front. Columbus has an incredible $22.5-million under the cap to work with, although contracts for R.J. Umberger and Pascal Leclaire are pending.

It's been one step forward and another back for GM Scott Howson so far. He needs to land some of the big free agents.

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At 6:18 p.m., July 02, 2008, Anonymous fingerfan14 said...

The mismanagement of the Blue Jackets, Panthers, Leafs and Thrashers is truly something to behold. How did the Blue Jackets pull off trading Zherdev without getting any prospects or draft picks? Is there any way to rescue abused players like Rick Nash and Ilya Kovalachuk?

At 6:24 p.m., July 02, 2008, Anonymous longsuffering said...

Fingerfan14, it's outrageous that you didn't include the Islanders on your spectacularly-mismanaged hit list. I say this as an Islanders fan, of course.

At 7:57 p.m., July 02, 2008, Blogger Skraut said...

What other options do the Jackets have? They aren't exactly a prime Free Agent destination. As seen in the Hossa deal, you can throw big numbers at a guy, but in the end, he'll play where he wants. The rich get richer, and the poor have to make do with what's left. The Jackets were highly criticized about how much they spent on Commodore, but they have to be that much higher, both to attract, and to get to the cap floor.

At 7:59 p.m., July 02, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

They're certainly in a bad spot. There really aren't a ton of answers until they can rebuild the system a bit, get kids like Brassard and Voracek into the lineup.

Hitting the floor won't be a problem for many teams.

At 8:21 p.m., July 02, 2008, Anonymous Truth Serum said...

James, I don't know what to say. Yes, I would agree that Zherdev's days were numbered and it was time for him to go and his Alexi Kovalev act. But what did the Jackets get? Zherdev was their #2 scorer and even if they sign Brendan Morrison, they won't make up his numbers. Unless the young guys coming up, Brassard, Voracek, whatever, come through immediately. They are handicapped, but this deal is not going to sell tickets.

At 8:54 p.m., July 02, 2008, Anonymous fingerfan14 said...

longsuffering, the Isles do not qualify for the mismanagement list until they bring back Yashin, trade Okposo for equal or worse value than the Jackets got for Zherdev or if they decide to bring back Milbury and have him tandem GM with Snow. Sure the Islanders have had a rough go of it lately but they haven't done anything on the blooper level of the other aforementioned teams in the last few years. Look on the bright side you guys still have Comrie and Sillinger :D

@skraut "What other options do the Jackets have?" if they were that hellbent on getting rid of Zherdev they could have shopped him around and tried to get better value or they could have held on to him until the trading deadline and cashed him in then. Dumping him before the season starts for what they got doesn't really help them short term or long term. The way they handled Foote and the return they are getting in trades isn't going to endear the team to future free agents either.

At 9:31 p.m., July 02, 2008, Blogger Master of the Obvious said...

I thought he was still a year of seasoning away, but maybe the Rangers saw a bit more out of Bobby Sanguinetti than expected at Prospect Development camp... He was said to be one of the best skaters on the rink.. He'd be a very low-cost option for a third-pairing defender.

It's possible considering the fact that he added 22lbs of muscle since last season and has made big strides in his all-around game.

Does anyone else get chills thinking about a line of Zherdev-Gomez-Jagr. I sure do.

At 11:01 p.m., July 02, 2008, Blogger danae said...

As a Rangers fan, I will surely miss Tyutin, but calling Backman "serviceable" is generous.

Assuming master of the obvious is right and Sanguinetti is ready for primetime, New York still needs to find a 6th D-man or else give Thomas Pock another chance to stick.

I gets chills thinking about Zheredev-Gomez-Jagr too, but I fear for us, not the rest of the league. Good trade for the Rangers but they still need more help up front.

At 11:49 a.m., July 03, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having Sanguinetti to replace Tyutin is a wash, they have Sauer and Baranka ready to step up and there'll always be a easy pickup for a 6th man on the cheap. Jason Strudwick's always available.


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