Incase you didn’t know, Chopped Liver is Sergei Zubov’s nickname. OK, well not really, but that’s how he’s been treated for most of his career.
During his 16-year NHL career, Zubov has ranked among the best defensemen in the entire league. In 1993-1994 he led the New York Rangers in regular season points with 89. That’s right, Zubov (which actually means tooth in Russian - enjoy that nugget of meaningless info), a defenseman on the best team in the entire league, led the Rangers in points en route to their first Stanley Cup in 54 years.
During the lockout year of 1994-1995 he amassed 36 points in 38 games. So what does Zubov get rewarded with after two brilliant years on Broadway? Ah, yes, a trade to the Pittsburgh Penguins where he recorded 66 points in 64 games.
He then spent the next 11 years with the Dallas Stars as a stud, I repeat STUD defenseman. He’s a two-time Cup winner, a three-time All-Star, and a one-time Norris Trophy (drum roll please...) runner-up!
That’s right, Chopped Liver has never won a Norris Trophy. He’s only been nominated in 2006. Now I know Nicklas Lidstrom has pretty much urinated all over that piece of hardware to mark his territory, but Zubov just seems to get no respect. Hell, he’s only been nominated once. One nomination! He’s the Susan Lucci of the NHL, but even she eventually won (I promise that is the last soap opera reference you will ever see on this blog).
Now at 39-years-old, I doubt that all the wrongs that have been done to this man will be made right by the time he retires. However, the Rangers may be one of the few to correct their mistake (if you didn’t think Zubov and Petr Nedved for Ulf Samuelsson and Luc Robitaille was a mistake please click the little ‘x’ on the top right corner of this page, thank you).
With the Rangers looking to unload one of either Wade Redden or Michael Roszival, this may open the door to bring in Zubov at a cheaper price. Granted, he is older than Redden and Rozy, but he is still a better power play quarterback and is probably better defensively also.
I’m getting goose bumps right now picturing Zubov (wearing No. 21 of course) feather passes to Marian Gaborik.