Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Zorro Rides Off To The Sunset

Zherdev Rides Off To The Sunset
So a player who seemed to have the talent, but lacked the heart is gone after one disappointing year under the tutelage of two different style coaches. Neither the slumbering coach clueless or the firebrand Tortorella could get Nicolai Zherdev out of his lackluster play. So another Stealth GM experiment has gone awry and if one looks at the current roster one surely understands that there will be more angst and more disappointments ahead for both the Rangers and their faithful, loyal and frustrated fans. Let's face it. Right now it looks like a first round exit, if we are lucky enough to make the playoffs.

This year's team looks no better than the team that opened the 2008-09 season. Matter of fact, it looks worse so don't think the playoffs are a lock. The Rangers are going into this season with no number one center. The player they are counting on to be "The Man" has great talent but is subject to many injuries. If he stays healthy we have a gamer, if he gets injured we are in deep trouble. Higgins is a good addition but the rest including the detestable Donald Brashear are nothing more than window dressing, which The Stealth has had a love affair over the years. To make matters worse the strength of the team, the penalty kill, number one in the league, has been completely dismantled with the release of both Blair Betts and Fredrik Sjostrom. Trust me, the undisciplined Rangers will rue the day they broke up this dynamic duo.

The defense has lost one of its stalwarts when Paul Mara was allowed to leave. We are still stuck with the awful tag team tandem of Michal Rozsival and Wade Redden and their combined yearly salary of $11.5 mil. Mara was a great team man who often jumped in to protect his teammates. The only thing that Rozy and Redden will protect are their bloated contracts. Tortorella claims that only the performers will play and it has nothing to do with contracts. Don't bet on it. Rozy and Redden will continue to log in excess of 20 minutes per game, regardless of their performances and plus/minuses. The opportunity is there for a youngster or two. Will we finally get to see Bobby Sanguinetti? Or will the Stealth go to the NHL graveyards and dig up some retread? Oh, did I mention that we still don't have a power-play quarterback?

So it's good-by to Nicolai Zherdev. Zorro, we barely got to know yee.

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  • THATSTEVE said...

    Good riddance to the invisible man. He had his chances and the playoffs were a disaster. But it was worth the trade to see if he could get his act together here. Too bad. But props to get rid of a mistake rather than get hosed again. Avery will be the only reason to watch this team.

  • blow-me-down said...

    I look back at my excitement last October, thinking how this guy might become Bure Lite, or maybe Kovalchuk Lite, and I laugh at myself. Oh well.

    He seemed to just give up on the team, and himself. I care little what happens to his career, won't follow him - he's no Prucha.
    I think Zherdev wanted out and engineered his exit with his salary request.

    With the roster as it sits right now, my fingers are crossed, toes too, that a Grachev or an Anisimov, and a Dubinsky (they are going to sign him aren't they??) contribute a ton.

    Going into the season with rabbits feet, fingers crossed and blind optimism. Yep, I'm a Rangers fan!

  • mike said...

    THATSTEVE-Avery plus Lundqvist plus hope that a "surprise" youngster will surface.

  • mike said...

    blow-me-down-Hey, you forgot your four leaf clover.

  • blow-me-down said...

    Zorro was a guy who took things on and fought for the greater good.

    Zherdev - perhaps a couple of hundred percent less emotionally engaged about things.

    I guess he dangled better than Zorro, though.

  • mike said...

    blow-me-down-Maybe I should have called him Zero?

  • Jeff said...

    I love how 95% of the Rangers so-called "fans" are already lamenting the goal-scoring woes which have not yet manifested themselves, lamenting a injured player who, at present, is completely healthy, and are lamenting a season that hasn't even started yet.

    Small wonder that players tense up on the ice in front of us.

  • mike said...

    Jeff-Its the M.O. of the Ranger fan. And you know what? The team doesn't let us down. You think they play tense because of the fans? I think its the other way around. But, what the hell do I know? Enjoy the year.