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Some bad news, and then some (hopefully!) good news.

Thursday, September 28, 2006
Let's get the bad news out of the way first, since it won't take up as much time to go into. First off, word out of The Columbus Dispatch is that off-season acquisition and Zherdev insurance Anson Carter is sore and hurting with a case of plantar fasciitis.

... "plantar what?" is the first thing that popped into my head, confused by this new term I had never before heard when it came to injuries. So being the intrigued person that I am, I hopped on over to Wikipedia! And here is what the article on plantar fasciitis states at the beginning:

Plantar fasciitis is a painful inflammatory condition caused by excessive wear to the plantar fascia of the foot. The pain usually is felt on the underside of the heel, and is often most intense with the first steps of the day. It is commonly associated with long periods of weight bearing. Obesity, weight gain, jobs that require a lot of walking on hard surfaces, shoes with little or no arch support, and inactivity are also associated with the condition. This condition often results in a heel spur on the calcaneus, in which case it is the underlying condition, and not the spur itself, which produces the pain.

Definitely not painting a pretty picture here. Come to think of it, this was the exact same sort of inflammation I was feeling weeks ago before I got some new shoes for my daily exercising. But that's neither here nor there.

Despite how bad this sounds, Carter still hopes to play in the last pre-season game on Friday down in Carolina. The last thing we need is to add even more of our better players on the injured list.

Speaking of which, in that same article, Aaron Portzline goes on to mention how defenseman Bryan Berard is still considered out indefinitely and now is going to get an MRI concerning the pain he's feeling in his back.

Sigh. The more time that passes, the more it seems like deja vu from the start of last season all over again. But it's best to keep a stiff upper lip and just wait for some more concrete information. Although it's been stated that Berard is out indefinitely, as recent as last week there was no word that he'd miss opening night. There's still eight days to go before then, so plenty of time left before it's time to start worrying about the already shallow blue line.

But let's talk about something more positive! Something like Nikolai Zherdev!

Yeah, "positive" and "Zherdev" in the same phrase? That's a twist. But 'lo and behold, as first blogged on by Paul Kukla at Kukla's Corner yesterday, referenced from The Doug MacLean Show on 1460 The Fan, and then confirmed by Portzline at The Columbus Dispatch, there is definitely a lot of movement in the past day or two. Both Rolly Hedges -- Zherdev's head agent -- and MacLean are pretty much talking the same sort of talk, and saying that while nothing has been written in stone, that they're now just a couple dozen yards from each other in terms of what each side wants, instead of the miles apart attitude which hung drearily over earlier negotiations.

I'm not going to get ahead of myself here and start heralding the return of Czar Zherdev of Ukraine, though. Until it's reported that they've officially signed on to a new deal, who knows what could happen. Even so, I took a page from Jes Gőlbez's magic Microsoft Excel roster spreadsheets, and tried to figure out how, exactly, Zherdev would fit in to this new roster scheme with Carter here in Columbus. It's really not that pretty, to be honest ... there's practically a glut in terms of forwards, in large part because of the breakout pre-seasons that Geoff Platt and Alexandre Picard have been having, and how they've yet to be sent back to Syracuse, meaning there is a good chance they may very well be here at the start of the season.

Awkward, is what this is. I really had a hard time trying to decide whether or not I thought Vyborny would make the better second liner, and Carter doing better placed on the third line. On top of that, suddenly you got guys like Picard and Platt in the wings, and possibly Mark Hartigan as well. With Alexander Svitov and Sergei Fedorov both injured this isn't a big deal at the moment, and won't be until between 4-10 games into the season when one or both return.

I think this is one of those sorts of situations where you want. Where you actually have more forward depth than you even know what to do with. The fact that at the end of the day we're going to have at least one 50-60 point scorer on the third line because of how deep that right wing is looking is actually a very scary thought.

But again, this all depends on if Zherdev returns. Cross your fingers, folks.
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About Me: A mid-20s male who feels much too old even before he's 30. Has a degree in Sport Management and after branching out and trying a few other things in the job market, has finally decided to go back to his first love of hockey and hope he can break in with a team, big or small, somehow.
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