New York Rangers: Russians Give Reason for Wishful Thinking

Greg CaggianoSenior Writer IJuly 12, 2008

I was having a conversation with my friend the other day about all the Russian players the New York Rangers have in their system and on the team, with the acquisition of Nikolai Zherdev.

Russian hockey players are always very skilled, and very fast, and always seem to be modeled off the "Russian Rocket" himself, Pavel Bure, who once played for the Rangers. Now, it's only the summer and nothing is settled yet, but how sweet would an all-Russian second line be? Think about it, the team could have a second line of:

Nikolai Zherdev-Artem Anisimov-Alexei Cheraponov

Zherdev was acquired in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets just a few weeks ago while the center, Anisimov was drafted in the second round of the 2006 draft. The only concern would be the line's right winger, Cheraponov, who may have difficulty coming over to the National Hockey League from his league in Russia.

After a transfer agreement was reached last week, it seems that the problem is not as big as it was thought to be just last month, when TSN blasted the Rangers every opportunity they had on drafting him.

Now this is all talk, more like wishful thinking and I may be getting ahead of myself but I hope that if we can get all three of those players in Ranger blue at training camp, that they may all click.

All three players are fast and all can shoot the puck really well, with the playmaker being Anisimov, who has also developed defensive skills while playing for the Rangers' AHL affiliate Hartford Wolfpack.

If the line can't be united, then this talk was just a waste. But if it can, what a scary line it could be next season for the New York Rangers.