: Larry Brooks:
Brandon Dubinsky contract update 9/4 See Post #1071
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07-31-2009, 11:35 PM
DROP THE PUCK
Join Date: Dec 2007
Originally Posted by
Because they want to see what Zherdev gets. There's not a whole lot of space to work with and I'm sure Slats wants to move him if possible.
More on Zherdev plus my suggestions for our lineup:
Waiting On Zherdev
Who will win? The Rangers who donít want to pay a penny less than the $3.25 qualifying offer or Zherdev, who demanded a much higher $4.5 million. Figure the reward to be somewhere in the middle for the 24 year-old right wing who despite disappearing down the stretch still tied for the club lead in scoring with 58 points (23-35-58).
Itís hard to justify the Russian enigma receiving more than say between 3.7 and 4. Given the Rangersí tight cap situation with Brandon Dubinsky still unsigned, itís unrealistic to envision Zherdev returning for a second year on Broadway. Especially considering how unproductive he was under more demanding coach John Tortorella, who he even hinted at in a recent interview as not trusting him enough. With how little the former Blue Jacket- who Glen Sather acquired last summer for Fedor Tyutin and Christian Backman- competed, would you send him out for every shift when he repeatedly lost battles while teammates busted it?
His linemates didn't necessarily 'bust it' when Tortorella took over.
If memory serves he playd a lot of minutes on the third line with offensively inept players and given terrible minutes in the process.
Zherdev is not just a guy who scores goals or can power through opposing players with size and strength. He isn't built like Malkin. He does not have the size. And although Zherdev doesn't crash the net with wreckless abandon, he does look for his linemates to do so and he looks to distribute the puck to them when they do.
I keep repeating this and it falls on deaf ears. Zherdev is not the guy to carry an offense by himself. He has all the skill in the world but he does't have the size and strength to bull his way through. And that is why he gets fancy with the puck. He gets even more fancy with the puck when he has garbage as his linemates. You can't put a guy with Zherdev's vision, passing ability, and overall skill with a bunch of fringe 3rd and 4th line players.
You also can't expect him to be a grinder. That is not the kind of player he is. If he were just used properly, and that is the coach's job; to evaluate talent and put them in their proper roles, if he were just used properly it wouldn't be an issue. If people stopped expecting him to be what they want him to be and instead accepted him for what he is and put him in that role as a part of a secondary scoring unit, then he would be fine. 58 points out of your secondary players AKA your second line is fantastic depth.
Zherdev needs a regular shift, with guys who how to play the offensive side of the game, and he will be fine. He isn't a crash and grind type? Then putting one of those kinds of players on his line wouldn't hurt. But make sure you also have a guy who can skate, shoot, and play on the line as well.
I don't know why it is so difficult for people to evaluate how to properly use individual players.
Again, Tortorella is a fine coach, but he let's himself get in his own way. Instead of evaluating a situation and deploying a solution and maximizing that players' ability by putting him in a role that works for that player, therefore increasing your teams' efficiency, what Tortorella does is act irrationally and benches the player, leaving the team with a short bench and then whines that the players get tired... it's laughable.
Zherdev would be fantastic on this team now that it has a player like Gaborik to handle the primary scoring role. It also has more depth offensively with guys like Higgins and Kotalik. Zherdev would be able to quietly put up 50-60 points on the second line and second Power Play unit.
However, people want to bring up his ethnicicity as if it matters one way or the other, and simply hate on the guy without rational thought or reason.
Sign him. Use him properly. He would be fantastic in the secondary role.
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