Monday, July 5, 2010
Zherdev making his NHL return?
Over the last couple days there has been rampant speculation that the Leafs were chasing former Blue Jacket and Ranger Nikolai Zherdev, well, they were all lies and just that. Rumours. At least according to word coming out of the Leafs camp today. However there is still a rumour being circulated that Zherdev is still in talks with the Buffalo Sabres, could this be someone to play on the top line with Vanek? Possibly, a more likely scenario is that of which would see him play along side of Stafford or Pominville, but with Zherdev looking for a reported multi year deal worth 4 million a season is that too much for a guy who had 23 goals and 68 points in 82 games in his last full NHL season? He spent last season in the KHL with Atlant Mytischi where he netted 13 goals and 39 pooints in 52 games he seems like player that can bring depth scoring to a team that needs some right now.
The Sabres had quite a bit of trouble putting the puck in the net in their first round playoff exit at the hands of the Boston Bruins, and it was no small secret that once Vanek went down, the Sabres offense went with it, however we need to be asking ourselves is this the player we want to be spending top money on? or will he run back to Russia on this first think smokin with his tale between his legs if things don't work out? Nikolai seemd to be coming into his own his last couple of seasons before he made a bee-line to the KHL, putting up solid numbers in Columbus and in New York and playing a full 82 games in both seasons so we know he can withstand the rigor of the NHL season and thats something the Sabres are looking to turn towards, they need to add some secondary scoring to help Vanek out, that same secondary scoring that left on Briere and Dury's backs when they skipped town four years ago.
Either way you slice it, Zherdev would be a good addition to a team that is lacking in the scoring department, they question remains.. is he worth the money?