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Heater – Out? Zubov – In?:

Well, apparently, the Dany Heatley rumors didn’t last very long. Now, it appears the Sens are eyeing the SJ Sharks as their next/new trading partners for Ottawa’s new villain. As Devon knows all too well, Sens’ nation loves to cast out villains and heroes – see Jason Spezza, during Calendar Year 2009.

Now that this rumor has apparently died, a new rumor has surfaced, and that is the CBJ’s pursuit of Sergei Zubov, one of the great Power Play Quarterback’s (PP QB). From The Fourth Period:

http://www.thefourthperiod.com/news/cbj090710.html

Well, that info, rumor, call it what you may has fueled a lot of conversation – angst might be a better word. Here’s the 4-1-1 on Sergei:

ASSETS: Has outstanding passing skills and is extremely agile. Possesses outstanding hockey sense and usually makes the right play at the right time.

FLAWS: Isn’t physical at all and can be over matched at times when opposed to big forwards in front of the net. Injuries are also a concern.
CAREER POTENTIAL: No. 1 defenseman.

That last flaw is what’s everyone’s big concern – Zubov is coming off of season-ending hip surgery this past year; however, per the article, Zubov’s agent said he’s been medically cleared to play, which has increased in the interest league-wide.

Well, needless to say, the message boards have gone quite spastic – pro or con – about the prospect of Zubov coming to Columbus – everything from what a great acquisition that would be, re-teaming him with Ken Hitchcock, to not wanting him, as he is merely a Band-Aid – not a long term solution.

Again, keep in mind, this is all speculative – after all, there are six other teams in pursuit of him, and how much would Scott Howson be willing to pay for one or two seasons?

Please, however, let me give my two cent’s worth – which, BTW, doesn’t account for much – as to the possibility, should they acquire Zubov:

If, he’s indeed, healthy, so long as he’s not asking for too much – a dip from his 2008-2009 salary of $5.3 million – I say, do it!

As a very trusted and knowledgeable confidant commented, on his blog, Light the Lamp, “Even if he’s 75% of his former self, he would be the best offensive dman they’ve ever had by a mile.”

As he also said, Hitch also has experience coaching him. Plus he’s a right handed shot. Think these things factor into the possibility of him fitting in, here?

OK, let’s go with that Band-Aid theory – until the likes of Cody Goloubef, Teddy Ruth, and Brent Regner are ready, and Kris Russell continues to develop that PP shot – he already has the puck-moving capability – you mean you wouldn’t want a potential future Hall-of-Famer to not only help the team out, for the next year or two, but to serve as a mentor for their future puck-moving prospects?

Remember, this is a UFA acquisition – I still believe there’s another trade coming down the pike – you know, one puck-mover for that glut of forwards?

So, were I to play Scott Howson – and no, he’s not asked for my insight, as much as I’d like to serve as his hockey and spiritual advisor – I say, make the move. I’d say a somewhat healthy Zubov helps improve that “feared” – 30th ranked isn’t good – current PP, exponentially.

Fire The Cannon!

3 Comments

  1. hiimbart

    July 11, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    I’ve been pushing for this move for awhile. It just seems like a situation that would fit for the player and the organization. Sign him to a 1-year deal, maybe make it incentive-based. He would bring more leadership to the blueline as well as mentoring some younger defensemen. I think he could do great work in helping to develop both Russell and Tyutin. He’s an extremely intelligent player which I hope would more than make up for any step he’s lost. He also knows the Hitch system and would be an advocate and a likely candidate to fulfill the leadership role vacated by Malhotra. If the money’s right I say pull the trigger.

  2. jacket-man

    July 11, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Zubov eh? I say.. Come on down!

    Any help is needed here in C-bus. I like hearing the 4th period rumor too. Howson is in talks with Edmonton, Toronto and San Jose?
    Souray? Vishnovsky? Kaberle? Ehrhoff? Boyle?! (hehe I’m dreaming with Boyle) But really. ANY of those would do nicely.

    Get it done, Howson!

  3. Paul

    July 11, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Unlike the “no Band-Aids” types, I can see positives in bring in Zubov for a year or two, probably under an incentive laden contract a la Peca.(Did I spell that right?) Yes, the CBJ needs a long term solution to the PPQB and puck-moving d-man hole. Possibly, Russell is that solution. With someone experienced in the subtleties and tricks of being a PPQB/offensive d-man, Russell could become that long term solution even faster. And until a long term solution is found, Zubov fills a glaring need. If the contract is right, why not go for it? At worst, two years down the line, Howson is looking for another player to fill the role and patching that hole could mean the difference between a couple more “first round and outs” and going deep into the play-offs.

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