Zherdev and Kotalik – Signing one or the other is an interesting question, although its not always that black and white. I think the Rangers made a decision during their team planning sessions prior to the draft that Zherdev and Antropov were not coming back, unless it was at a reasonable price. Antropov’s demands were silly and Zherdev filed for arbitration. Neither situation made Sather happy.
And because of the ridiculous timing of the arbitration hearings, well after the draft and free agent signing start, teams have to make big decisions on players without knowing the facts.
Are you better with a bird in the hand at $3 mill a year for 3 years for Kotalik, or Zherdev maybe getting up to $4 mill for one year. By then its to late to replace Zherdev if you don’t want him at that money.
I don’t think the Rangers really want Zherdev around and in particular the coach. And I don’t have a problem with that now. Lets see how it plays out.
The other side is they now have the luxury of the late arbitration hearing, to establish a value so they can sign him and flip him, or trade a Rozsival, to make cap room.
There are a lot of balls in the air on these deals and I think Sather has done a nice job of covering his bases with Zherdev. This Kotalik signing must of been endorsed by Drury and if he and Kotalik can click on a offensive line there are still a lot of options for a second offensive line led by Gaborik.
This is one you can’t judge yet, because the balls are still in the air.