Official link here - Rangers official release
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has exercised its right to walk away from the arbitrator’s award to Nikolai Zherdev, thereby allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent.
"With the additions we've been able to make this summer, we feel we've been able to add scoring and offense from the wing position," stated Sather. "Following the arbitration process and subsequent award given, we feel it is in our best interest to walk away and continue to explore all available options to improve our roster."
Zherdev, 24, appeared in 82 games with the Rangers last season, registering 23 goals and 35 assists for 58 points, along with 39 penalty minutes. He was held scoreless in seven playoff contests.
The 6-2, 203-pounder has skated in 365 regular season contests with the Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets, recording 99 goals and 140 assists for 239 points, along with 203 penalty minutes. The Kiev, Ukraine native was originally Columbus’ first round choice, fourth overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
In the words of Sam Rosen - "THE WAITING IS OVER!" I must say I liked his playing, but the boy is clearly full of himself. Petr Prucha, Nigel Dawes, Dmitri Kalinin, Derek Morris, Nik Antropov, and now Fedor Tyutin gone with Zherdev, and nothing here in return.
Sather says he will continue to explore all available options to improve the team. Will he really do anymore looking at other teams at this point?
If somehow Zherdev does not get a deal, and does go back to the KHL, maybe that means Sather really broke his neck trying to trade? But why did he wait so long? Or did he? Time will tell. How long will Z be on the market...UPDATE - This from Zipay's Blue Notes story here -
"We've discussed his options in the past because to be fair, the Rangers couldn't afford more than the $3.25 million they initially offered, and that was before they made all the other moves. The issue now is where he fits in the market at this point. His first priority is to play in the NHL. If not, he'll look at Russia."
- Rollie Hedges (Agent to Nik Zherdev)