Tag:Nikolay Zherdev
Posted on: August 3, 2011 10:24 am

Daily Skate: Latvia picks Nolan; Zherdev to KHL

By Brian Stubits

NOT KEEN ON KEENAN: Last week we told you that former NHL coach Mike Keenan was one of two finalists for head coach of Team Latvia. Turns out he was No. 2. Latvia announced Wednesday that it is hiring another Canadian and former NHL coach, tabbing ex-Sabres and Islanders boss Ted Nolan to lead the team.

NIKKI SKIPS: Earlier this week, colleague Adam Gretz addressed the issue of where would Nikolay Zherdev play next season, speculating it could be Winnipeg or possibly a jump to the KHL. Turns out it's the latter. The former Flyers forward will play next season with Atlant Mytishchi of the KHL, joining Alexei Kovalev on the team.

TOUGH WEEK: It hasn't been a kind few days to the Islanders. The future of the franchise was made cloudy with the resounding no vote on a new arena for the team. So when the team announced very early Wednesday morning they had re-signed forward Jon Sim, it shouldn't be bad, right? Not until the Isles tweet this a short while later: "Jon Sim has not been resigned. A glitch in Bridgeport's email sent a press release from last summer. We apologize for any confusion." Oops.

PERRON STILL OUT: From the department of news you never want to see, Blues forward David Perron isn't going to start training camp with his teammates as he is still dealing with concussion symptoms. He is expected to play at some point next season, Andy Strickland says the two sides just agreed Perron needs more time.

NUMBERS GAME: It's a very awkward situation with the Jets as far as the history of the franchise ... is the team playing under Thrashers history or Jets, who are now the Coyotes? Evander Kane already asked Bobby Hull about wearing his retired No. 9 Jets jersey and Bryan Little has run into the same issue with Dale Hawerchuk's No. 10. But instead of asking to wear it (Hawerchuk said it was no big deal) Little is just going to change numbers himself. (Via Puck Daddy)

BUFFALO ADDS TO STAFF: The Sabres added a coach to Lindy Ruff's bench, announcing the hire of Kevyn Adams as an assistant coach. He joined the staff in 2009 in a player development role.

PITTSBURGH SIGNS TOP PICK: The Penguins took care of some house cleaning by getting their top pick in this year's draft in the fold, signing defenseman Joseph Morrow to a three-year entry-level contract.

Avalanche OF CONFIDENCE: Erik Johnson is expecting a big season in Colorado (Via Denver Post). The defenseman is changing up his workout, trying to prepare for a great year. And he's talking the talk about it too, sending a message to Capitals fans. "It's not going to be a [high] pick [to the Caps in exchange for Semyon Varlamov]. It's going to end up being a great trade for us. People are saying we got the short end of the trade and they're happy because they think we're going to finish at the bottom of the league -- and we're not going to do that this year."

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: July 31, 2011 7:20 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2011 7:23 pm

Where will Nikolay Zherdev land?

ZherdevBy: Adam Gretz

Whenever Nikolay Zherdev is the subject of discussion it's inevitable that the word enigma is going to get thrown around. The 26-year-old winger oozes talent and seemingly untapped potential, but has been frustrating teams and coaches since his NHL debut during the 2003-04 season. He remains unsigned as the calender is set to flip over to August, and is easily the biggest boom-or-bust player still waiting for a chance.

It's not yet known whether that chance will come with an NHL team or somewhere in Russia.

The folks over at Broad Street Hockey translated a Russian interview with Zherdev late last week where he talked about his potential landing spots (he also shared his critical feelings for his former general manager and coach), including his interest in playing for the Winnipeg Jets, as well as a possible jump to the KHL (which is something that, for some reason, seems like it would have already happened by now).

Somebody is going to take a chance on the talented winger because there's still too much offensive ability and upside to ingnore, and at 26, he's not exactly over-the-hill or on what would be the downside of his career. It can be too tempting to pass up, even if he can be frustrating in the defensive end of the ice and maddeningly inconsistent.

At this point Zherdev is what he is -- a talented, one-dimensional offensive threat that can score goals when put into the right situations. And that can be a useful asset to a team like Winnipeg that was 20th in goals per game last season, and has added nothing more than depth players this summer, while also buying low on Eric Fehr.

Zherdev scored more goals (16) with the Flyers last season than any remaining free agent on the open market (that's excluding Anaheim-or-bust Teemu Selanne), and did so by playing in just 56 games, which is a 23-goal pace over an 82 game season. That's nearly identical to what he did over the prior two seasons as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Rangers.

When asking whether or not the Jets should be the team to pursue Zherdev, Drew Mindell at Illegal Curve concluded the answer should be a rather easy yes, provided it's only a low-risk one-year deal. And that seems fair. No NHL team should be willing to hand out a multi-year contract at this point because there's just too much uncertainty as to what you're going to get, and a team like the Jets seems to be a match in terms of having a need for some sort of additional offensive firepower. Even if it does carry some risk.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: July 24, 2011 12:40 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2011 1:16 pm

How will the Carter-Nash duo work in Columbus?

nashBy Adam Gretz

Now that the Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired a No. 1 center, the discussion has shifted from whether they will ever find a player capable of matching Rick Nash's ability on their top line, to whether the player they acquired -- Jeff Carter -- is the right fit.

The concern now is that Carter and Nash might be too similar to complement each other as they are nearly identical players. They both have roughly the same build; they both score a lot of goals; and both take a lot of shots. Over the past three years, they've been two of the top-five goal-scorers in the NHL, while both finished last season in the top six in shots on goal.

Assuming the two are paired on Columbus' top line, somebody is going to have to take on more of a playmaking role because, well, you have two guys that love to shoot and only one puck to go around. The expectation seems to be that Carter, the center, will be that player, and he's been asked about it since being officially introduced to the Columbus media this past week.

AJ Mazzolini put together a story in the Columbus Dispatch on Thursday talking about the expectations Carter will be facing, where he acknowledged passing will have to become a larger part of his game. But should it?

As the center it's easy to assume Carter will distribute the puck more, and while neither player has put up huge assist numbers throughout his career, I think Nash, based simply on personal observation, possesses more playmaking skills and could be a better set-up man on the wing.

Nash has taken on such a shooting role in Columbus for, I think, two main reasons: 1) because, obviously, he's an excellent sniper on the wing, but also 2) because he's been forced to take on such a role.

He's been forced to take on such a role because he's been the only consistent goal-scoring threat in Columbus over the past seven seasons. Since 2003-04, he's been the only Blue Jackets player to score at least 30 goals in a season, while only three others (Antoine Vermette in 2009-10, R.J. Umberger in 2008-09 and 2010-11, and Nikolay Zherdev in 2005-06) have managed to score more than 25 in a season. If he doesn't do it, nobody is doing it.

Not only does Columbus have another option, Nash has somebody else on his line that will also be capable of finishing plays. And Nash brings more to the table than just the ability to shoot. He has vision, he can create space for himself and his linemates, he works along the walls and he even has some touch to his passes. Take this play for example:

He's just needed somebody else to take advantage of all of it.

I don't expect Nash's game to change all that much, but I do think we'll see his performance go to another level. He's going to have a much better player on his line -- perhaps the best player he's ever played with in the NHL -- that is also capable of scoring goals and highlighting his playmaking ability that has gone relatively unnoticed the past seven years.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com