After a day-long post and re-post, tweet and re-tweet frenzy of Scott Burnside’s assertion that Sergei Zubov is probably leaving, I still wasn’t ready to think that it was anything new that we didn’t know last week. (Plus, I am skeptical of ESPN’s hockey coverage.)
Last week we knew that Zubie was checking out what he could get as a free agent, and even that if the KHL was his only option, he would consider it. We knew that the Dallas Stars, specifically Joe Nieuwendyk, were going to wait a month to see how well he’s really recovered from his injuries.
But since I believe whatever Mike Heika says, I have to start thinking that maybe he is about to leave us.
“We have made good progress in talks with several teams, and I believe we’ll get something done soon,” [Zubov’s agent, Jay] Grossman said. “I can’t say it’s going to be the end of the week or anything, but there is interest out there and we’re going to pursue that interest and look for the situation that is best for Sergei.”
There’s still a chance that he could decide that the team and city that he’s loved all this time is better at a discount than a team he doesn’t know at a premium. But I guess it’s time to admit that it might happen.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe that Zubie played anywhere else besides Dallas. He’s ours. I don’t want to see him play anywhere else.
One of my favorite stories was when somebody mentioned the trade with Pittsburgh for Zubov to Craig McTavish, he asked who we traded for him. “Kevin Hatcher.” “Ouch.”
While I don’t want to see him go, I’m not calling for Nieuwy to pay him whatever he wants, and I’m not calling for Zubie to stay in Dallas even if he doesn’t want to. I think Nieuwy is smart to make sure he’s healthy, but I do think Zubie can be great again if he’s really cured of all his hip problems. The question is whether he is. I think an incentive-laden deal for much less than he made last year is perfectly fair.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t not blame Sergei one bit for going elsewhere for more money. Or even for the same money, but guaranteed.
Zubov hasn’t been injury-prone his whole career, only the last couple of years. There’s every reason to believe that he’ll be back to normal. Maybe not his 30-year-old normal, but his 40-year-old normal would be better than most.
There’s also every reason to believe that this particular type of injury is never going to go completely away.
My hope is that he stays, but I’m starting to get the feeling he might not. I’ll still cheer like crazy for him if he ever comes to town with another team.
But my hope is that he stays.