Rangers play the waiting game on Zherdev

According to Larry Brooks in the NY Post, Nikolai Zherdev's arbitration ruling could come down tomorrow, but may be postponed until Monday.

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It's now up to arbitrator Elliott Shiftman to establish Nikolai Zherdev's contract number for this coming season, following yesterday's salary arbitration hearing in Toronto.

Zherdev, who participated in the hearing by phone from Russia, is believed to be seeking $4.5 million off a 23-goal, 58-point season during which the winger tied the exiled Scott Gomez for the club lead in points and finished one behind the retired Markus Naslund for the club lead in goals.

The Rangers, represented by assistant general manager Cam Hope, are believed to be arguing for a contract no more expensive than the $3.25 million qualifying offer the team presented Zherdev late last month in order to retain his rights.