Wild fans have had an excellent off-season. New management, new players, new hope. That hope has come with a free gift: rose colored glasses. In the past week, Nik Zherdev and Alex Tanguay have been thrown about as possible hosts for an Iron Range red jersey next season. Let's take a quick look at just how easy it is to de-bunk these rumors.
First, let's look at Zherdev. As soon as it was announced that the Rangers had decided to pass on the arbitration number, Wild fans began asking if he would fit in Saint Paul. Checking the stats, he looks solid, right?
|2008 - Nikolai Zherdev||82||23||35||58||6||39||4||1||3||1||219||10.5|
Take a second and look at the new rumor coming via Brad Ratgen's Twitter. He says that according to a rumor site, Alex Tanguay is in the running for two teams. Tampa Bay, and here in Minnesota. Here is Tanguay:
|2008 - Alex Tanguay||50||16||25||41||13||34||5||0||3||0||76||21.1|
Who wouldn't want Zherdev's 58 points on the roster or Tanguay's 41 in only 50 games, right? Wrong. As Russo pointed out shortly before blasting off for Vegas, Zherdev is a whiner. Russo also reinforces Chuck Fletcher's stance right now (check's in the mail Russo):
In other words, if at some point you truly believe you can somehow trade for a Jon Cheechoo or a Patrick Sharp or a Phil Kessel or another upper-echelon player, then you’ve pretty much got to pass on Zherdev. Remember, if you sign Zherdev to anything close to the lucrative deal he wants long-term, you’re taking yourself out of the game for anything else.
Fletcher has made it clear he wants to wait to see what the teams who are pushing the cap do as the season nears. He has said it multiple times. But, that means little, as it is not concrete. Let's put this in our back pockets for a moment.
Here is the concrete evidence used to de-bunk both rumors. NHLNumbers.com. A simple visit to the premier cap site on the web tells us that the Wild are at $53.675 against the cap for the upcoming season. The cap is $56.8 million.
Do the math. You are all capable.
Zherdev: $53.675 + $3.9 = $57.575 million.
Tanguay: $53.675 + $5.375 (last years number) = $59.05 million.
Now, reach back in your back pocket and pull out that information from before. Chuck Fletcher wants to see who he can get when other teams realize they are either over the cap or too close for comfort. Both of these players turn the Wild into the team that is over the cap. So, if Fletcher himself has said he wants to wait, why would get so brain cramped crazy about guys that put the team over the cap?
It has been a good off-season folks. Skoula is gone, Gaborik is gone. The team is immediately improved for those two reasons alone. Martin Havlat is in. We have new coaches ready to open up the ice. It is certainly a time to be excited, but it is not time to check your brain at the door.