September 15, 2006

Zherdev: Replaceable?: So the Blue Jackets pick up Anson Carter after he has a career year, as the Zherdev talks continue to flounder. Looks like a good deal on paper. Carter seems like he can replace Nik's scoring, but how about the intangibles? Thoughts?

posted by AvsJacket to hockey at 08:33 AM - 37 comments

"Intangibles"? What sort of "intangibles" can a player have with a team when he holds out for a bigger contract and threatens to play the entire year in Europe? The Blue Jackets are going to be sorely disappointed in thinking that Anson Carter's skill set is going to be able to replace Zherdev's. He's not even in the same zip code.

posted by grum@work at 08:59 AM on September 15, 2006

Not sure that letting go the best goalie in franchise history, Denis, was a good idea. They did add some offense from the port-side with Modin to man the second line. Zherdev is a good player but not all that spectacular. Anson Carter is also a good player neither one really shouldn't be considered more then minor stars, given the intangibles I'd rate Zherdev with a slight edge. I wouldn't find Carter an adequate replacement for Zherdev all things considered but its probably the best they can do given the late date. This team has some other problems that need to be addressed if they want to make the playoffs. With special teams PK 81.8% (17th) and PP 14.2% (30th) The Blue Jackets have some trouble with special teams as most teams do that lack elite offensive talent (at least on the power-play). Having Nash healthy for the entire season should since he tied for the team lead with 11 PP goals despite skating in only 54 games. The other Blue Jacket with 11 PP goals was Bryan Berard and he only skated in 44 games himself. Zherdev was third on the team with 10 PP goals, so the team desperately needs to sign him just for that. On the PK the Jackets were about the middle of the pack in the NHL. However because of all the penalties they amassed, they were actually 9th in the NHL in PP goals allowed (95). They simply must improve this unit if they hope to make the playoffs.

posted by skydivedad at 09:10 AM on September 15, 2006

Anson Carter is a borderline All-Star, but that's about it. That said, he was consistently good with the Sedins last year, a decent second-line power play option, and a solid team guy too (unlike, it seems, Zherdev), and if he clicks with Modin & Malhotra (or whoever he winds up with), he can be counted on for 50-60 points and a bit of stability and experience for the kids, which Columbus could still use. I'm kind of pulling for the Jackets this year. I want to like them. I hope Pascal Leclaire steps up, or they find an actual #1 somewhere (how is Ty Conklin not managing a Wendy's somewhere at this point? He couldn't stop a beach ball last year). I wouldn't say they're going to be good, but they could easily suck a bit less.

posted by chicobangs at 09:27 AM on September 15, 2006

Carter is best as the third forward into the play. Zherdev creates much more for himself and others. Take that for what it is worth, but I'd consider playing hardball with Zherdev a mistake. He might never come back if he is received in mother Russia as a savior of some sort after the loss of Malkin. And thank you for taking Carter off of Leafland radar. On preview: chico, the Jackets looked like a play off team for the last 20 games of the season. I don't know about their goaltending, but other than that, they should definitely suck less.

posted by garfield at 09:28 AM on September 15, 2006

"the Jackets looked like a play off team for the last 20 games of the season." garfield's right about their end of season push, The Columbus Blue Jackets posted a record of 35-43-4 last season, good for 74 points. This was the Blue Jacketsí best season statistically since they joined the NHL. However the most impressive part of these numbers was their record from the second-half of the season. In their final 41 games, the Blue Jackets went 23-16-2, and in their last 23 games at home the team was 16-7-0.

posted by skydivedad at 09:36 AM on September 15, 2006

Carter is best as the third forward into the play I agree, he has a big shot that he gets off pretty quick and can really suprise a goalie when he comes in as the trailer. The Sedin's are both good play makers and really knew how to set Carter up. I don't know if there is anyone on The BJ's that can do that. He should help out on the PP. He has the aforementioned wicked shot and can also play the point on the PP.

posted by HATER 187 at 10:03 AM on September 15, 2006

Zherdev was inconsistent. We'd go significant lengths of time without seeing him do much of anything, and he's not that solid in tight spaces. That said, I'm disappointed in this whole affair. I think Maclean is doing a decent job, and while I don't follow it closely enough to know this, it almost wreaks like Zherdev got a new agent that's trying to make a name. As far as "intangibles", I'm with grum - absolutely no positive "intangibles" that I've seen from Zherdev ... except maybe for wowwing fans on rare occasions. "Upside" is a better word for what Zherdev might offer, but as far as intangibles and doing the best they can given this situation, CBJ could've done worse than Carter.

posted by littleLebowski at 10:32 AM on September 15, 2006

Ouch - Zherdev is a much more valuable commodity that Carter. This is nothing short of a big hit to Columbus, by virtue of Zherdev's desire to get paid now what he obviously will in two years time. I admire the Jackets for playing a little hardball, but it's a step back for this season. They had plans for him - it's not unusual for a guy like him to take a few years to adjust, but his ceiling was in the 70-80 point range this year I thought (I had him down as a late round potential draft pick). I think the Jackets have a chance to be marginally better this year, but they are far from a playoff team from what I can tell. Carter looks like he went for the money, rather than the teammates. If he's stuck playing on Columbus' second or third line (I think Nash has his spot on the first line wing) he'll struggle to produce the way he did in Vancouver last year, no doubt. He has proven that he definitely needs a quality centre to move the puck. However, he wasn't going to get $2.5mil from anyone else.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:01 AM on September 15, 2006

Weedy-couldn't they play onthe same line? Nash is a left winger, Carter a right winger. I don't think they will do this but they probably will play on the top PP unit together if Carter is going to play forward.

posted by HATER 187 at 11:12 AM on September 15, 2006

Just looking down their roster, their first line looks like it'll be Fedorov between Nash and either Modin or Vyborny, with the other of those winding up with Manny Malhotra & Carter. Does that make sense? And Weedy, I don't know about this being a cash grab. I could see Malhotra & Carter clcking pretty well, and as long as they had a finisher on the other wing (like Modin, frex), that could become a pretty productive second line.

posted by chicobangs at 11:13 AM on September 15, 2006

Really? I think Malhotra pretty much sucks as a second line centre expected to contribute offense. He's certainly no creepy-ass Sedin brother. I'm just not too sure about Mclean's moves this off-season. He's picking up scraps. Very JFJ circa last year. That Federov trade was balls awful.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:30 AM on September 15, 2006

Oh, I think it's a hit to the organization, and I'm frustrated at Zherdev, but I'll miss him (even though there's secret hope back here that they still work something out). As a local report put it: "As an organization, the Blue Jackets would be better off with a happy young star who wants to play in Columbus forever than a happy 32-year-old with a one-year contract. But under the circumstances, this was a terrific move." chico & weedy - It's still early to tell, but I think it's between Vyborny and Carter for first line w/ Nash and Fedorov. I'm guessing they'll have Carter on the 2nd line with Modin and Malhotra, but like Hater pointed out, have Carter and Nash on the same PP unit. But, I love the chatter from some more much more knowledgable NHL fans than I.

posted by littleLebowski at 11:31 AM on September 15, 2006

Just like to add that Anson Carter has a history of holding out and expecting more money too.

posted by Samsonov14 at 11:33 AM on September 15, 2006

Zherdev has already signed with Khimik Voskresensk, a team in the Russian Superleague. This means that if Zherdev does not sign with the Blue Jackets, he will be playing in Russia this season. Apparently, the reason why Zherdev has not signed with Columbus is that he has been offered short-term deals, where he would like to be offered a longer-term deal. weedy: It isn't amount of money but length of contract, thats the hang-up.

posted by skydivedad at 11:56 AM on September 15, 2006

It isn't amount of money but length of contract, thats the hang-up. I disagree. MacLean offered 3 years, and what's being reported is that Zherdev's agent came out of nowhere with $9 million for that 3 years (MacLean stopped at around 6.9 mill). Not heard a peep from Zherdev's side about length and the team would love for a mid-to-long-term contract for his youg potential, if that amount wasn't out of whack. And, it's my understanding that a deal with CBJ or a trade is still possible (although MacLean seems hardcore on no trade and is willing to let him stay in Russia if it comes to that) - Zherdev's Russian contract doesn't lock him up until early-mid October.

posted by littleLebowski at 12:08 PM on September 15, 2006

Zherdev has an out clause in his Russian Contract. If he plays after Oct. 4th he'd have to clear NHL waivers. It's my understanding that he's looking for 6 years plus on any new NHL contract and as weedy stated earlier he'd be OK with getting some 2nd, 3rd year money sooner.

posted by skydivedad at 12:36 PM on September 15, 2006

Most of the reports say that Zherdev wants more years than Columbus is willing to offer. Sort of amazing that he would give up a season for that. It's almost like he's undervaluing his own services. I mean, what if Zherdev exceeds expectations with the Jackets, and he's locked himself for five years in at too low a rate relative to his performance? He's clearly not worried about this possibility. Carter on the other hand has always been about the money. Can he honestly claim to be thrilled about playing for a last-place club? This is his seventh NHL team, and he's only 32 years old. He's officially a rental player. It's awfully frustrating to watch a guy with his talent floating from team to team every off-season in search of the best deal, and signing one-year contracts with last-place teams to boost his stats for next year's negotiations.

posted by Succa at 12:58 PM on September 15, 2006

Two references to "last-place team" in the last thread - while I shouldn't, I'm going to take offense. CBJ was not last-place in any sense - points or record, within the league, their conference, nor their own division. And, everything I've seen/heard has analysts/so-called experts saying the team is on the verge of being a true playoff contender. That is what makes last-minute snags with a potentially strong player so frustrating. Not a good or desired result last year - but not last-placed and a fairly strong and promising finish, as pointed out earlier. I was under the same understanding regarding Zherdev's contract, sdd - thanks for the better wording. But, "being OK with 2nd, 3rd year money sooner" doesn't mean he's justified. But, thanks for the insight on wanting 6+ years - hadn't heard that back here.

posted by littleLebowski at 01:25 PM on September 15, 2006

...speaking of frustrating

posted by garfield at 01:53 PM on September 15, 2006

Wow! That sucks garfield. They needed some production from him asap.....

posted by skydivedad at 02:18 PM on September 15, 2006

I'm going on record saying that I am SHOCKED that a Nicholas Zherdev post got 20 comments on the first day. SpoFi's hockey loving community is totally the best.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:25 PM on September 15, 2006

And, everything I've seen/heard has analysts/so-called experts saying the team is on the verge of being a true playoff contender. I think that has changed since Denis left. I wouldn't feel too confident with Conklin in net.

posted by HATER 187 at 02:37 PM on September 15, 2006

Yup! Agree with Weedy ... and thanks all! Outside of me wanting to better "officially" support the BlueJackets more, this site is the reason I'm trying to become way more edumacated on hockey.

posted by littleLebowski at 02:37 PM on September 15, 2006

I think that has changed since Denis left. I wouldn't feel too confident with Conklin in net. Conklin is supposed to be a non-factor. LeClaire has all our eggs in his basket. If HE struggles, then all who question the Denis trade will be able to stand a little taller.

posted by littleLebowski at 02:42 PM on September 15, 2006

I meant "last-place team" only as a figure of speech, knowing that they're not literally last-place. But third-last in the West and twenty points out of a playoff spot is closer to "last place" than not. I'd love to see the Jackets make the playoffs. Their fans deserve it, for sure. Doug MacLean clearly doesn't share this thought, though. Pretty much every move he's ever made has been brutal. The Carter signing might end up being a good move, and I can't wait to see Brule, but it'll be hard to leapfrog over the congestion in the middle of the Western Conference standings. If they bring Zherdev back (or get something of value for him) or find a way to unload Fedorov or Foote I could see the team's fortunes changing.

posted by Succa at 02:53 PM on September 15, 2006

Fair enough Succa. And thanks for the well-wishes. I'm hearing/reading more and more people slamming MacLean for many of these moves, even though I've been talked into their justifications (sorry to see Denis go, but lived with it - but hated the Fedorov deal). So, maybe I need to be looking at him with a more critical eye. Thanks for the discussion, all!

posted by littleLebowski at 02:58 PM on September 15, 2006

The writing was on the wall about Zherdev three weekends ago. I went to a sidewalk clearance sale for the Blueline shops here in Columbus, which are the official team stores for the Blue Jackets. There was a box of clearance t-shirts, all of them of Zherdev, being sold for $3 each. There must have been 50-60 shirts in the box. I knew right then they likely weren't too close with negotiations. I like the deal. I know that one season does not a player make, but last year Zherdev was a -13 and Carter was only a -1. Zherdev had 54 points, Carter 55. What we don't know is how Zherdev was in the locker room, how he fit into the overall chemistry of the team off the ice. He could hardly communicate with his teammates and wasn't putting forth the effort to learn English (according to reports). So, we'll see. When the season ends next year, it will be interesting to see who comes back, Zherdev or Carter, because Carter's contract was for only one year.

posted by gdvbranz at 04:42 PM on September 15, 2006

More frustration........ dang it.....

posted by skydivedad at 05:27 PM on September 15, 2006

How did Barker not notice a fractured ankle all summer? SDD, Carlo might not be done for. Tough to tell from here in cubeland USA, but it could be just the flu or a case of Mauricitis.

posted by garfield at 05:41 PM on September 15, 2006

Hope your right garfield ....... flu but not a dreaded case of "Mauricitis"....... Yea, How in blue blazes do you go the off season with an ankle fracture and not work to make it better? It's that dang Medicine Hat jinx....... grumble mumble regasnazzzz errrrrr....

posted by skydivedad at 05:52 PM on September 15, 2006

Further frustration......I forgot to mention this earlier. How do you sign a backup goalie that needs back surgery? Especially him WTF I'm at the Red Wings Training Camp along with skydivemom the Wings Fan. Seems to be some delay in naming a "C". To me it's Zetterbergs' team but all the media is clamoring about Lindstrum being the guy, narry a word for Zetterberg. Lindstrum to his credit, under heavy media pressure, has maintained his class. I suppose either would be fine Captains.

posted by skydivedad at 06:10 PM on September 15, 2006

Zetterberg over Lidstrom for the C? Really? I'm not seeing it....

posted by Succa at 06:16 PM on September 15, 2006

Well succa, the arguement for Zetty goes something like: Young star moving Detroit Forward or Old Star keeping Wings in the past. I've also heard arguements for Datzsuk along the same lines. Both Holland and Babcock said a decision wouldn't be made for at least a week in todays news conference and that other players had been consulted. Everyone is so sure its Lindstrom they're baffled by the delay. I'm on the side of seeing the Wings moving forward with Zetterberg. Either way they have a tough act to follow in Yzerman.

posted by skydivedad at 06:47 PM on September 15, 2006

Keith Gretzky could have scored 30 with the twins last year. Carter is solid, but not great, a typical spare parts player coming off a career year. Look for him to score 15-20 this year. he's at his best in close picking up garbage, which is something Nash does well too, so probably not a good fit on the first line. Second line guy, 2nd unit PP, probably overpaid. But, contract squibble or not, a good team player on the Canucks -- being a good team player and wanting a good contract are not irreconcilable in pro sports..

posted by rumple at 10:24 PM on September 15, 2006

Skydivedad reporting from Red Wings Training Camp with breaking News: Can't find a link as of yet but Greg Johnson 35 had to leave camp because of an irregular EKG. I have footage of Ken Holland explaining it but can't process it on my laptop from here. Sorry Gang. Stay tuned for some more exclusive SportsFilter Interviews and Breaking News.........That is all...

posted by skydivedad at 02:43 PM on September 16, 2006

Greg Johnson Update: Greg sat out camp yesterday (Friday) and he has left camp today. He was signed by the Wings from Nashville August 15th. He'll need to be cleared by Doctors before he's allowed to return to practice.

posted by skydivedad at 03:20 PM on September 16, 2006

Zherdev has already signed with Khimik Voskresensk, a team in the Russian Superleague. This means that if Zherdev does not sign with the Blue Jackets, he will be playing in Russia this season. Apparently, the reason why Zherdev has not signed with Columbus is that he has been offered short-term deals, where he would like to be offered a longer-term deal. weedy: It isn't amount of money but length of contract, thats the hang-up. Doug offered a three-year deal worth and average of $2.3 million a season. That's plenty for a kid who has yet to prove himself consistently. For him to not take that makes it obvious money is also a factror in the negotiations. Yes, he has serious wow-potential on the ice. Let's see him do it consistently, and then we'll talk. Doug should continue to hold onto him until he grows up (he's got a few years before he's even a restricted free agent), then let him go to arbitration. If Zherdev puts up consistency and numbers inthat year, then sure, throw some more money at him. Sorry. I feel McLean's in the right here. Zherdev should take the 3-year deal.

posted by AvsJacket at 12:11 AM on September 21, 2006

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