Dose of Reality #31February 15, 2007
Dose of Reality
So Niki Zherdev is our problem, right? Last season he averaged .74 points per game and this year he is down to .46 and has brought the Columbus Blue Jackets down with him. He should turn back all his money and beg forgiveness from the fans. Better yet, he just should put the money back into Doug MacLean’s pockets and go live on the streets! That will teach him. After that, we can go talk to Rick Nash, who averaged an even 1.00 point per game last season, but has fallen to .71, which is a steeper drop than Zherdev.
This season was in trouble last summer when our GM decided to play hardball with Nikolai. Instead of negotiating with him, MacLean had to attack him. It is a zero sum game with MacLean, who always gets a raise each year no matter how bad the team does. Rob Oller of The Dispatch came very close to calling MacLean a fraud today, but stopped short, letting those of us who care about hockey come to our own conclusions.
Maybe something will come to a conclusion with this organization now that Ken Hitchcock, a man who knows about both hockey and winning, is coaching this clunker of a team. Hitchcock had to take the blame in Philadelphia when Bob Clarke put together a roster that was built for the 1980’s and gave it to Hitch. I don’t think he is going to fall on his sword this time, not for a guy like Doug MacLean.
Nikolai Zherdev is not doing well and he can drive coaches nuts with his undisciplined play. For three years, discipline didn’t matter here in Columbus because management only cared about cashing their paychecks. But now that the fans are not turning out game after game to spend their money at Nationwide, discipline matters. I agree that Zherdev is probably the most undisciplined of the lot, but he is just one piece of the puzzle. MacLean signed Carter, who by the way ain’t putting up numbers either, as insurance. Well, the team doesn’t need the insurance anymore, but there is no cancellation clause on the policy, so the McConnell’s are stuck paying Carter a lot of money and a group of players that don’t win. It would be great to free up Carter’s millions and bring up a prospect or pick one up from another team. But no, we have an expensive roster (for Columbus) that we can’t do much with. The team has no room to move players out and bring new ones in.
So for the last month, we have been hearing about how the team is in the hunt for the playoffs. That was true in October, but not in January. You want to see playoffs, go to the Ice Haus and watch the Ohio High School District Hockey playoffs, which begin on Friday.
This team needs an enema.
– Truth Serum