As we all know, hockey's dog days are here. I was searching for something worth commenting on - something not involving a certain Blackhawks winger now known as "20 Cent". Lo and behold, I found this (h/t to The New York Rangers Blog).
It seems Nikolai Zherdev, late of the Rangers, hasn't signed with a KHL club after all, and his agent has been in contact with Nashville Predators' GM David Poile. Simply put, the enigmatic Zherdev would provide desperately-needed scoring for the goal-starved Predators, who managed just 2.52 Goals/Gm last season (24th in the NHL). Just three Nashvillians topped 20 goals in 08-09, so the addition of another 20+ goal man would be most welcome.
Given the rise of the Columbus Blue Jackets and the resurgence of the St. Louis Blues, the Predators must pull something out of the free agent pond in order to compete for a playoff spot. Considering Nashville's financial limitations and the talent available at this point in the off-season, Zherdev would be a very nice pickup for The Only Team in the Central Division NOT in the 08-09 Playoffs.
Does Z like country music? Doubtful...but he apparently wants to keep playing hockey in North America. The young (potential) sniper has been tried and found wanting by both the Blue Jackets and Rangers - two of the lowest-scoring teams in the NHL last year. He's rapidly running out of options. Music City might very well be Zherdev's last shot at an NHL career.
I'm certain that the feelings of both the Predators and Zherdev towards each other and this (possible) marriage of convenience are summed up quite nicely by the great Charlie Robison. Who knows? It might just work.
Take me back to On Goal Analysis