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As you know by now, there is a rumor going around that the Rangers are looking to swap some combination of Zherdev, Rozsival, and some draft picks and some prospects for Ottawa sniper Dany Heatley. I’ve been trying to think about this deal with a more logical eye than what my gut is telling me. Inside my gut says, this is a friggin steal, a ripoff of epic proportions. Heatley is definitely a superstar sniper, he can put the puck in the net. And Zherdev certainly hasn’t fulfilled his limitless potential. With that said if you examine the players with a little bit of a cold eye, it’s not exactly a steal for the Rangers.

Let’s look at this logically.

1)Cap hit. When looking at it in terms of forward vs forward and not counting in the fact that were trading away one of, if not our best 2-way defenseman, Zherdev will likely make about 4 million dollars less per year than Heatley.

2)Production. Dany Heatley has averaged 45 goals a season for the past 4 years, clearly he knows how to put the puck in the net, however his production has steadily tailed off over the past 3 years as well. 105 points, to 82 points to 72 points. Meanwhile Zherdevs offensive numbers seem to be holding steady over the past 2 seasons with 61 and 58 points respectively.

3)Speed. Dany Heatley is not a fast player, he’s nowhere near as fast as Zherdev. He is a sniper, and yes, he is a floater. He doesnt play well in his own zone, he doesn’t do shit away from the puck. He sees the puck he shoots the puck, and if he scores, he’s effective, otherwise he does nothing out there. He is Nigel Dawes with the ability to actually consistently score. Zherdev is also kind of a floater, however he is also a very effective passer, with some of his most memorable plays this year being superb passes to set up his teammates for goals.

4)Age. There is a 4.5 year age difference here between the players, and while 29 isn’t exactly Shanahan in terms of age, it is still significantly older than Zherdev.

5)Coach. Heatley has run out of town twice now when the going got tough. In Atlanta after he had his car accident, he couldnt handle it and left. In Ottawa he is having differences with his coach, and he wants to leave. Look who our coach is…you think he is going to coddle Heatley and let him do his thing? No, when he plays like shit, hes going to hear about it. Zherdev on the other hand has been benched by Renney, by Torts, by Hitchcock, and still hasn’t cut tail and run. If anything he’s made it known that he wants to work harder and play up to the standards that Torts has set for him.

6)Teammates. I don’t like to hold it against a player when they play with great players. I don’t think that is fair at all. With that said you still have to acknowledge, that Heatley has played with guys like Spezza and Alfredsson for the most of the last 4 years. Zherdev however has played with guys like Peca, Voros, an aging Naslund, etc. What kind of numbers does Zherdev put up playing with Spezza and Alfredsson? What kind of numbers does Heatley put up with Voros, Peca, etc? It’s tough to tell.

So here is what it all comes down to for us.

Which Dany Heatley are we getting? Are we getting the Heatley who scored 50 goals and 55 assists? or are we getting the Heatley who scored 72 points last season. If you’re getting the former Heatley, then it’s a slam dunk, you do that trade without a seconds hesitation. If however you are getting the 72 point Heatley, I think I pass. The combination of having too many gigantic contracts on this team, with his attitude and alarming inability to adjust to any kind of adversity makes me very wary of having him play in front of our fans who don’t put up with floaters. Zherdev is still a 60 point player, and you know what, the 12 points you add from Zherdev to Heatley does not warrant the 4 million dollar price difference.


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