It really annoys me reading some of the posts on the message boards about Zherdev. Let’s let him walk, let’s not even qualify him, let’s trade him for a bag of pucks.
I do have a pretty decent idea of where this line of thinking is coming from. Fans of the Rangers have tunnel vision, it’s always what about the here and now. Never thinking about the broader picture, the long term, the large sample size. If you stink in the past 10 games, then you must have always stunk, and you will continue to stink for the rest of your career. If you are on a hot streak for 10 games then you are destined to be a hall of fame player that will shatter every statistical record that has ever been conceived.
What I am saying here folks is, take a step back, look at Zherdevs entire body of work, and then think about what you are saying when you are talking about letting him walk.
Has anyone actually looked at the statistics when it comes to Zherdev?
Hes got the highest rating on the team, statistically he plays almost as many minutes against the oppositions top players as Gomez and Drury. When it comes to quality line mates Scott Gomez has the 2nd highest rating (ie he plays with the better players), Zherdev has the 9th highest. Gomez and Zherdev are 1-2 in their CORSI score. In goals/60 minutes played Zherdev has the 2nd highest rating behind Cally. In Assists/60, where you would think Gomez would destroy the competition, they are neck and neck, Gomez 1, Zherdev 2. In Points/60 Zherdev is 1st on the team. In goals against/60 Z has numbers comparable to our 7 million dollar center who supposedly learned awesome defensive hockey in the Devils system.
Statistically Zherdev is our best player by and large. And this is despite playing with far inferior linemates compared to the rest of the top players on our team (how many games did this guy play with Voros for Christs sake?!).
If you think getting rid of Zherdev is going to help this team, you are sadly mistaken. Zherdev had a rough post season, but a players career is not about what he did in his first post season, or what he did for you in his last few games. Its a body of work. If you look at short segments of a players career, then even the all time greats can look quite bad.
People wouldn’t take Marian Hossa for free after his playoff series against us…at least that was the prevailing thoughts amongst some people, now, however, how many people would kill to have him on our team?
Getting rid of Zherdev will be one of the most costly mistakes this franchise has made in their recent history, along with signing guys like Gomez, Drury and Redden. You dont let players like this walk, you keep players like this and mold them into better players. You take the bad with the good, and you keep your eye on the big picture.