Zherdev is Still a Ranger

July 7, 2009, by

As I get more bored at work, I check out more and more fans, across the beat writer blogs and fan blogs, that are just overjoyed to “be rid” of Nikolai Zherdev. This is not another post about why the Rangers still need Zherdev, I already wrote something about that, no need to beat the topic to death. My specialty is financial analysis of the business of hockey, so let’s start with that.

Bear in mind, all of this is dependent on the outcome of his arbitration hearing. He’s not going to get the $3.25 million the Rangers qualified him at, he will be awarded much more. If you look at the raw numbers, he was one of the top three scorers on the team last year. Sure, he has his lapses, but Tortorella is not one to let those go unaccountable, but with Naslund and Gomez gone, if the Rangers lose Zherdev, they lose all of those top three scorers from last season.

But I digress, that isn’t the point of this post.

Zherdev is good for 60 points a year, which is pretty decent for a 2nd line wing. But let’s compare this to market value. Oh wait, Mike did that already. If you don’t want to read all that, I’ll sum it up right now. Zherdev’s output puts him in the same class as Dustin Brown (6 years/$19 million), Martin Erat (7/$31.5 mil), and Derek Roy (6/$24 mil). The average of those deals is 6/$24.8 mil, which amounts to $4.13 million annually.

Say all you want about overpaying, and not worth it, and quitting, and whatever else negative you have to say. You just simply CAN NOT argue with market value. Want a more recent case? Nik Antropov got $4 million a year, and they are almost identical players, and they put up identical numbers.

Zherdev is a frustrating player. He showcases all-world talent, sometimes. But he’s cheaper and/or better than any of the other options available (Heatley, Tanguay, Koivu, insert UFA here). This point seems to be lost amongst the Blueshirt Faithful. (Note: and/or means one or the other or both, so nothing about “you think Zherdev is better than Heatley?!?!” Clearly no. But he’s cheaper.)

Market value is $4 million. That’s it, case closed. If he gets less, consider it a huge win for the Rangers. In the mean time, Zherdev is still a member of the New York Rangers.

Categories : Analysis


  1. Jordan says:

    One word sums up my thoughts…agreed.

    • Dave says:

      There’s just a lot of nonsense and uneducated responses to the Zherdev situation. Tanguay is not cheaper than Zherdev. Hell, they don’t even play the same position.

  2. Matt H. says:

    I’d rather pay more for a guy who doesn’t disappear and just play lazy hockey for months at a time…

    • Dave says:

      You’d rather throw $5 million at Tanguay, his bum shoulder, and his declining production?

      Zherdev is 23. His mind was probably on the girl he f*cked the night before.

      • Matt H. says:

        Haha, good point.

        For one season, yes, 4mill isn’t bad, but don’t give him multiple years like those other guys.

        Let him prove it this season.

  3. Mike D. says:

    I’m not a huge fan of Zherdev at all, but he did put up numbers on a club WITHOUT a major talent (ie. Gaborik) last season. He often faced top defenders; I think as a 2nd liner he’ll be much more effective with the top pairings focusing on Gaborik.

    You wonder why the Rangers are, according to Larry Brooks, so quick to walk away from this guy. Especially considering they could easily fit him under the cap by swallowing some pride and waiving Redden.

    Dave is 100% right on this; it won’t be easy to replace Zherdev’s 60+ points at $4 million. They will have to spend $5-6 million in a multi-year deal with a much older player…this could cost them some of the young talent down the road.

  4. Stas says:

    sakic retiring…the three great leaders of the 90s (messier, yzerman, and sakic) are all finally out of the game

  5. Mike A. says:

    The one thing I worry about is that lack of a legit second scoring threat. Maybe Callahan can be that guy, but he’s not right now. As it stands, teams know they have to shut down Gaborik to beat the Rangers.

    Yes he’s a flake, but Zherdev is a legit second scoring option, something the team lacks right now.

    • Dave says:

      Especially at just $4 million.

      • Jordan says:

        Absolutely. Zherdev can score 30 goals with Torts kicking him in the ass every now and then. You’re hard pressed to find a more cost efficient option. And like Mike said, without him, there’s really no 2nd scorer.

        Either way you don’t give up on a 23 year old who tallied 58 points last year while apparently not playing all out.

  6. Kathy says:

    I don’t think $4 million is overpaying…you’re right in your comparison to antropov.Z got 60 points last year with alot less ice time than gomez and Drury …and he played with voros!Put him on a decent line and his production will go way up.He wasn’t the only ranger faqding at the end of the season last year.

    • jurgenno88 says:

      i think Zherdev is unbelieveably talented but i agree that he has too many occasions when he coasts. At the right price i certainly think give him one year under Torts. His linemates were poor and the system stifling last year so you have to think if he can out 60(ish) up under Renney and beforehand Hitchcock then maybe 70 is do-able? If he can then 4m is good value. i still say walk away if its any more than that though.

  7. becky says:

    Dave, I love you, but I’ve been telling you like all season, Z is 24 will be 25 early in the season