Friday, July 29, 2011

Zherdev Not Only FA Still Out There

At this point in the summer, doubt of whether the Jets will go after a veteran free agent has set.

Rumours of Nikolai Zherdev's want to play for the Jets and the Jets pretty much only has raised the level of heated hockey talk and discussion about the Russian's want to play in Winnipeg.

Zherdev, 26, has already talked to a former Jet Alexei Zhamnov about Winnipeg. Zhamnov spent three seasons with the Jets and was a very consistent scorer for the old Jets.

“I met with Vityaz GM Alexei Zhamnov a little while ago, he played three years in Winnipeg. He said it’s very cold and a lot of snow there in the winter, which just makes it an ideal place for hockey. Great! Manitoba doesn’t scare me." he told the in an interview.

"I wasn’t born in Africa after all.”

But Zherdev isn't the only free agent who needs a hockey home for next season.

The list includes some former big names such as Chris Drury, Cory Stillman, J.P. Dumont, Bryan McCabe, Brent Sopel, Marty Turco, and others.

It's unlikely that any of the players on that list will be in a Jets jersey, albeit any jersey next season with the way they played last year, but there are more than just a Russian claiming he wants to live in one of the coldest cities in Canada playing for a team that has a guaranteed sellout every game this season.

“There’s a balance happening,” long-time agent Anton Thun told the Toronto Sun's Terry Koshan.

“With players in their 30s, do you sign a player who has a history of one-way contracts in the NHL, or do you try to keep room for young players coming through your system?”

For the Jets so far the onus is on a young team. If Zherdev happens to join it will be yet another player under 30 to add to a youthful team.

But when does the rumour mill stop?

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