The Nikolay Zherdev experiment has come to an end. The Philadelphia Flyers placed the disgruntled forward on waivers today. The Flyers did try to find a trading partner per the request of Zherdev and his agent Jay Grossman. Unfortunately they were unable to ship out the Russian playmaker in a deal. Zherdev had 15 goals and 4 assists in 47 games.
Zherdev has been in Peter Laviolette’s doghouse for most of the season. It has been indicated that Laviolette did not like Zherdev’s work ethic. Laziness was always the knock on Zherdev and was one of the main reasons he had to play last season in the KHL. It looks like the final straw for general manager Paul Holmgren and the front office was last Friday night in Raliegh. Mike Richards was a last second scratch due to an illness and Zherdev was no where to found. The Flyers could not get ahold of him so they inserted enforcer Jody Shelley into the lineup instead.
This isn’t the way that I thought this experiment would work out. After being exiled to Russia last season, I assumed that Zherdev would’ve gotten the message that he has to work harder and be a team player. Obviously that was a message that he never received. It’s a shame because he has a tremendous offensive skillset and can be a huge goal scoring threat in the NHL. I can’t say I blame the Flyers organization for wanting to dump Zherdev like a bad habit. However it wouldn’t be the worse idea to hang onto him. If a forward were to go down after the trade deadline, Zherdev would be an immediate upgrade over anyone on the Adirondack Phantoms. He would be a great insurance policy but you really can’t blame the Flyers for making this decision. It’ll be interesting to see if they pick up another foward before the trade deadline. I really doubt Shelley will be active during the postseason.