Will Columbus Trade Zherdev?
#13 Nikolai Zherdev
A member of Nikolai Zherdev's camp is requesting a trade, according to a story in yesterday's Columbus Dispatch:
An adviser to Blue Jackets right winger Nikolai Zherdev said "it maybe would be good for both sides" if Zherdev were traded before the start of the 2007-08 season.
But, Sasha Tyjnych said, Zherdev is spending this summer with the mind-set that he'll remain with the Blue Jackets.
"Columbus is what he's thinking about," Tyjnych said. "He wants to be in great shape coming into training camp. He's working out three times a week right now. On Aug. 15, he's coming to Ottawa to work with a fitness coach and get some ice time. He'll stay there until training camp."
Zherdev's first season under coach Ken Hitchcock did not go well.
Zherdev dipped from 27 goals in 2005-06 to 10 last season, and his work ethic was questioned by coaches and teammates. It's only fair to wonder if Zherdev will ever fit into Hitchcock's style of play, which emphasizes body checking and two-way play.
"Nikolai is a hockey player. He'll play for Hitch," Tyjnych said. "Hitch has his style of game. Nikolai thinks the game from a different perspective, like hockey players are to be creative. He is a forward. He wants to score goals. He wants to put the puck in the net."
Two Russian sites, Sport Express and NHL.ru, in pointing to the Columbus Dispatch story, are already suggesting that the Anaheim Ducks are vying for Zherdev's services. No justification for the Anaheim rumor is given by either site, though NHL.ru does note that Anaheim VP of Hockey Operations Bob Murray is the front-runner for the vacant Columbus GM position, by way of saying that the Zherdev issue is one that will have to be adressed by the new GM.