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Setting the Blair Betts Market; Zherdev Rejects KHL Offer

Many people probably didn’t even look up when reading that the St. Louis Blues resigned center Jay McClement to a three-year deal worth $4.35 million. I mean, who is Jay McClement? Well, McClement is a 26 year old 4th line center that averages 10-10-20 while playing most of his time on the penalty kill. John Davidson calls him “one of the best defensive forwards”.

Hmm. A 4th line center, who excels on the penalty kill, and doesn’t score much. Doesn’t that sound real familiar?

Sure, McClement scores more than Betts, but they are essentially the same player. Is Betts worth a $1.45 million cap hit? Definitely not, and if he asks for that, let him walk. But this definitely sets the market for someone like Betts. Betts could seemingly get a cool mil a year.

If the Rangers weren’t so cash strapped, a $1 million cap hit for Betts would be a reasonable hit. But now, I don’t know. I wonder if someone in Hartford –Jordan Owens? Greg Moore?– can fill that role?

In other news, Nik Zherdev has turned down an offer to play in the KHL:

Rangers forward Nik Zherdev, a restricted free agent, has turned down an offer from KHL club Salavat Yulayev Ufa and wants to play in New York next season.

This is nothing short of fantastic news, as it is incredibly important to keep Zherdev around next year.

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