Raise your hand if you wanted to see Nikolai Zherdev gone from the Rangers (presumably) for asking for too much money ($4 million). I see about 90% of your hands are up. I have to hand it to you all, at least you’re honest.
Now keep your hand raised if you’re happy with having Ales Kotalik for the next three years, at a $3 million cap hit. Ahhh, I see maybe 4 hands are still in the air.
But hey, you got what you asked for, and this is your reward. Ales Kotalik for $1 million, and 20 points per season, less. Oh, and he’s 30, and he’s here for three years. When I found out about this signing, I texted my friend and old team mate back in college, who is a huge Sabres fan. The conversation went like this:
Me: What’s your take on Kotalik?
Him: Terrible. Big guy, but he plays like a bitch. Refuses to fight for the puck in the corners or use his size. He does have a good shot though, so if he has a nice set up man he will chip in 20 goals.
Bear in mind, I lived with him for two years, and all I heard was him screaming at the TV, “****ing Kotalik!”.
So Glen Sather has replaced Nikolai Zherdev, someone who could create from nothing, albeit only when he wanted to, with Ales Kotalik, someone who plays like a bitch. All over a contract dispute of around $1 million. Oh, and did I mention that Zherdev was likely to get just 1 year from arbitration? So, in essence, Slats paid Kotalik $5 million more to be a 3rd line RW. Maybe Tortorella really didn’t want Zherdev on his team. But replacing him with Kotalik? I mean, come on.
But hey, all of you who were bitching about one bad month from Zherdev, get ready for the next Dmitri Kalinin. His name is Ales Kotalik.
This signing stinks. (Update 11:15am: Of course, I really hope I’m wrong, and will eat my words if I am, and will happily do so.)
Update 11:40am: In my unorganized rant, I realized I may have come off as saying that Kotalik is overpaid. He’s not. That’s market value (see: Knuble, Mike). I just don’t like the player, for now.