NEW YORK (AP) -The New York Rangers are making young forward Nikolai Zherdev an unrestricted free agent after walking away from the $3.9 million arbitration award he was given.
The Rangers had until Tuesday to accept the figure for next season or let him go. Zherdev reportedly sought $4.5 million in arbitration after the Rangers made a $3.25 million qualifying offer.
An arbitrator awarded Zherdev $3.9 million on Sunday.
The 24-year-old Zherdev played in all 82 games last season, his only one with the Rangers, and had 23 goals and 35 assists for 58 points - second on the team to Nik Antropov, who came over from Toronto at the trade deadline.