Our SB Nation Rangers reporter has a translation of a Russian language interview with Nik Zherdev. In the interview, Zherdev indicates that he is only talking to NHL clubs at this point and the Atlanta Thrashers are a major contender for his services. Ilya Kovalchuk has peronally lobbied him to come to our fair city.
I was skeptical of reports that Zherdev might come to Atlanta because the Thrashers are close to the midpoint of the salary cap. If they go over the mid point it reduces their slice of revenue sharing money. If they were to sign Zherdev they could possibly move some salary, of they might have to carry fewer bench players to stay under that threshold.
Throw in the Legace camp invitation and the unsigned Manny Malhotra situation--there could be some real surprises when the Thrashers training camp opens in mid September.