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Zherdev at Center?

It was reported on 1460 THE FAN this evening that Hitch plans to open camp with Z at center on Team Blue's top line with Nash and Vyborny. Hitch's reasoning was that after reviewing video from last season, he noticed Nik often held the puck up center ice and seemed more comfortable when rushing up the middle.

There is no guarantee that Z will be the top line center when the starting lineups are announced before the season opener, but if he is, it would instantly make the combo of Nash - Zherdev - Vyborny one of the most skilled and offensively dangerous lines in the league. It would also open up a spot on the right wing, which could be occupied by guys like Gilbert Brule and Jakub Voracek.

Rick Nash was interviewed on 1460 as well this evening, and when asked his opinion on Zherdev being his centerman, Nash commented that for Z to be successful he needs to buy into Hitch's system and trust he and Vybes when they are in the offensive zone.

Personally, I think this move has the potential to allow the Jackets to be very creative offensively, and put up a ton of points. We will see how things work out when Team Blue takes on the Predators this Sunday.