Thursday, July 30, 2009

To Be A Fly On the Wall

Take a good look at the picture of Nikolai Zherdev as one has to wonder just how much longer Zherdev will be a part of the New York Rangers. With his arbitration hearing set for Friday, finally there will be a conclusion one way or another regarding Zherdev's status with the Rangers which in turn hopefully will lead to resolutions on the remaining roster issues.

Too bad that they do not allow cameras inside one of these arbitration hearings as it would be almost comical to listen to Zherdev's representatives will try to explain why they think Zherdev deserves more than what the Rangers are offering.

It will also be interesting to see Zherdev's reaction when he hears Glen Sather make the case for why the Rangers believe he should be paid what they are offering. Given what we have heard of Glen Sather's skill at tearing someone apart then at the same time we also feel sorry for the rather sensitive Zherdev cause his feelings are going to get hurt.

Starting with what is not allowed to be used in the hearings:

How much salary cap room a team has available or any mention of the salary cap period.

Neither side can use what has been said about the player in the media or by his peers. Nor can either side use video highlights (or lowlights) to help boost their case.

How well a team is doing financially good or bad.

Neither side can use what kind of salary or performance an unrestricted free agent considered to be a "comparable" player has signed a contract for.

What both sides are allowed to offer at this hearing is:

How is the player as a leader or how well the fans like him. (Zherdev is not a leader and right now one could say not very popular with the fans)

How the player performed including his statistics in all previous seasons.

What other players that either side wishes to use for comparison purposes in both performance and salary.

How long a player has been in the NHL as well been with the team.

How well the player contributed to the overall team's success or failure. (This we believe is where Sather is going to hammer Zherdev especially on the power play and playoffs)

Once both sides have made their presentations then the arbitrator is supposed to render his decision within 48 hours. The decision though is one-sided as a team can walk away from an award but a player does not have that option.

Trying to guess how this hearing will wind up in reality is almost impossible as this along with the Red Wings Jiri Hudler are the top dollar hearings for this year. Most times on the average a player winds up getting some sort of raise out of the process so IF we were to take a guess then we would say Zherdev will be awarded something in the 3.75 million dollar range.

Then the question becomes do the Rangers accept the decision or walk away from it. We believe the Rangers will accept anything under 4 million dollars as like it or not Zherdev remains a better option for the first line than anything else the Rangers have to offer.

At the latest the decision should be announced by Monday and then the real games will begin.


For those of you who use Twitter, our friend Declan over at posted a list last Sunday of who Ranger fans might be interested in following on Twitter. It is a really good list of Ranger sources of information that deserves to be shared with you folks.

So here is the list of Ranger folks on Twitter for those of you wanting to stay up to date with Ranger info. It is a great list so take full advantage of it.


Like the rest of you we are going stir crazy with this way too long off-season but how about some good news? There are only 38 days before the first puck drops on September 6th for the Ranger prospects at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament.

Add LW Craig Cunningham of the Vancouver Giants (WHL) to the list of free agent invitees. Cunningham is a 5'9 175 18 yr old earned himself a second invite after a good performance during the Ranger prospect development camp.

You can find his stats right here and as we get word of who else will be on the roster we will pass it along.

(Zherdev courtesy of the Blueshirt Bulletin, Cunningham courtesy of the WHL)

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