NHL Rumors and Notes for July 7th

1. Nikolai Zherdev one and done with the Rangers

2. Leafs want Swedish teammates

3. Canucks resign O’Brian and Pick up Goalie Raycroft

4. List of 20 players that have elected to take their teams to Salary arbitration.1. Nikolai Zherdev one and done with the Rangers

The NY Post is reporting that the Rangers Nikolai Zherdev’s decision to file for salary arbitration probably means that it will be one-and-done on Broadway for the underachieving winger. As it was, there was debate within the organization whether to qualify Zherdev at the required $3.25 million price tag after his uneven season that frustrated both Tom Renney and John Tortorella.

Now, with Zherdev seeking a contract believed in the neighborhood of $4.5M, there’s little doubt the Blueshirts would walk away from an arbitration award that’s even a nickel more than $3.25M, and thus make the 24-year-old winger an unrestricted free agent.

Maybe that’s the end game envisioned by Zherdev’s agent, Roland Hedges, who has not responded to a series of voice mail and e-mail messages left by The Post over the last three months.

Maybe Hedges believes Zherdev, who was even less effective for Tortorella than he was for Renney and who failed to register a point in the Blueshirts’ seven-game first-round defeat to the Capitals, will hit a home run on the free agent market, though $3.25M for a 23-goal scorer whose work ethic comes and goes without notice would seem to clear the fence.

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2. Leafs want Swedish teammates

The Toronto Sun is reporting that Leafs GM Brian Burke is interested in picking up Swedish goaltender Jonas Gustavsson. “We’ve talked to him and expressed some interest but there’s nothing to report,” Dave Nonis, Leafs senior vice-president of hockey operations, said yesterday. “It’s a little early.”

Sources in Sweden say talks have progressed further though, as Wallin could be the latest player stripped from the Farjestad roster. Last year, the big recruit was forward Fabian Brunnstrom, who settled on the Dallas Stars after being wooed by the Leafs.

Toronto was able to procure defenceman Jonas Frogren from the Swedish club and is pulling out all the stops to snag Gustavsson. Burke has just returned from Sweden where he was to meet with Gustavsson face-to-face earlier this week.

And now there is Wallin, who scored 18 goals and added 27 assists in 55 games this past season, the second consecutive campaign that he led his club in scoring.

The 29-year-old, who had a brief stint in the NHL earlier this decade, might be added incentive for Gustavsson to pick the Leafs over the other three teams actively recruiting him.

“He’s a good two-way player who has played over here before,” Nonis said of the 6-foot-3, 195-pounder who was a sixth-round pick of the Phoenix Coyotes in 1998. “We’ve got a lot of things on our plate right now and he’s a little way down.”

Like the other NHL teams after Gustavsson, the Leafs had hoped he would have made his decision prior to the July 1 start of free agency.

Gustavsson told Sun Media’s Steve Buffery on Saturday that he plans to make his decision early this week and that Toronto is in the mix.

Meanwhile, there will be some on-ice action for several potential new Leafs this week at the team’s summer prospects camp. A group of two goaltenders, nine defenceman and 14 forwards — including recent No. 1 draft pick Nazem Kadri — will participate in on and off-ice workouts beginning today at Lakeshore Lions Arena.

Also in action will be Christian Hanson and Tyler Bozak, the pair of U.S. college free agents that Burke signed toward the end of this past season.

“It gives us a chance to see their practice habits, their work habits and conditioning,” Nonis said. “It’s a pretty important week for the players.

“By the end of it, they should understand what we expect of them in terms of nutrition and conditioning to prepare for training camp.”

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3. Canucks resign O’Brian and Pick up Goalie Raycroft

TSN is reporting that the Canucks resign Shane O’Brian to a a one-year, $1.6 million contract. The 25-year old defenceman recored 10 assists in 77 games last season. He also tallied 196 penalty minutes, which was second in the NHL only to forward Daniel Carcillo.

TSN is also reporting that the Canucks have picked up former Av’s goalie Andrew Raycroft to a one-year, $500,000 contract. Raycroft, 29, spent the 2008-09 season as a member of the Colorado Avalanche where he posted a record of 12-16-0 with a 3.14 Goals-Against-Average and a .892 Save-Percentage.

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4. List of 20 players that have elected to take their teams to Salary arbitration.

Tsn is reporting the list of the 20 players that are taking their teams to Salary arbitration. The list includes Nikolai Zherdev, Ryan Callahan, Jiri Hudler, Colby Armstrong, Kyle Wellwood and more. Wingers Nikolai Zherdev and Ryan Callahan of the New York Rangers were among 20 players who elected to take their teams to salary arbitration, the NHL Players’ Association said Sunday.

The only other club to have two players go that route were the Phoenix Coyotes, who are set to have hearings with forwards Nigel Dawes and Daniel Winnik.

To Read more…


6 Responses to NHL Rumors and Notes for July 7th

  1. broc says:

    Got to love what Burke has done this offseason.

    Now with Gustavsson a Leaf, Burke doesn't have to worry about trading Kaberle towards Josh Harding or Cory Schneider… he can straight up go for a forward (what the Leafs need most now) in return for Kaberle.

    He's signed about 5 guys that are good at fisticuffs, totally bolstered his D, added a potentially great goalie (and if he works out, Leafs could trade Toskala at the deadline for another forward or pick), and hasn't mortgaged the future to do any of it.

    If he can someone nab Kessel for Kaberle+, he'll have had arguably the best offseason of any NHL GM.

  2. rcichard0337 says:

    I've enjoyed what Burke has done this summer. This sets up a potential to pick up Rickard Wallin. Some people don't like that we have a plethora of Defense men, However this actually means there will be competition on the blue line to make the spots all season long. Meaning the D have to bust there ass off because there will always be a few more jsut waiting in the players booth. also if the leafs arnt in a nice postion come deadline day, they can send a few of these hard working heavy hitters over to a contender (not that im saying the leafs could not potentially be one of those contenders) Woo 🙂 Now all we need is soem scoring forwards and we might be in business. (tanguay anyone?) MAby even pick up Afinogenov see if he can rejuvinate the old days 🙂 or perhaps Sykora.

  3. Uncleben says:

    Apparently, tired with Koivu's lack of commitment, the Wild have come to terms with Mike Comrie as their centreman.


    thats the rumors i've been hearing.
    anyone else?

    i think it makes sense and could work.

  4. beckfan05 says:

    Even though they lost a solid D-man in Tyutin, good riddance Zherdev.

  5. Kyleton says:

    If the rangers walk away from Zherdev's arbitration decision it will probably lead the way for him going to the KHL unhindered. That's what i think will happen. He'll likely get more money there than here.

  6. paulieplatypus says:

    Sather has made it perfectly clear how much he hates the arbitration process and even more so the players that force Slats into being dragged throgh it.  Maybe the Rangers should send Zherdev to the minors if the ol' softy wins his hearing?  Why let him become a free agent at a lesser salary than he's even asking for from the Rangers?  Can a player even be sent down to the minors after going through arbitration??? 

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