Tyler J. Altemose
The Philadelphia Flyers have placed winger Nikolay Zherdev on waivers today, according to a report from TSN's Bob McKenzie.
Zherdev, the fourth overall pick of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, has 15 goals and 4 assists in 47 games played for the Flyers this season.
The subject of much controversy, Zherdev has had stints in both Columbus and New York (Rangers) before being sent out to the KHL. After what many believed was a year of maturation, the Flyers signed him to a one-year, $2M deal during the summer.
Unfortunately, Zherdev's inconsistent play has earned him much time in the press box, and he quickly lost favor with head coach Peter Laviolette.
Not much is known at this time whether this waiver has anything to do with the Flyers' recent span of defensive injuries.
As is the case with all waivers, the other 29 NHL teams have until 12:00EST tomorrow to pick up Zherdev at his full cost, otherwise he becomes a Phantom.
Ryan Bright, of Philabright.com, reports that Flyers GM Paul Holmgren met with Zherdev's agent, Jay Grossman, three days ago.
Meanwhile, I found the following clause in the CBA:
13.18(b) If no Club has claimed the Player within the time specified in the request for Waivers the requesting Club may Loan such Player to a club of another league.
The interesting word there to me is "another". It doesn't specify the AHL. Not only that, but the only league that is specified as off-limits is the ECHL.
So, with that said, I put the pieces together as such:
Jay Grossman and Paul Holmgren talk. Holmgren explains how Zherdev no longer has a place on this roster, yadda yadda yadda, and explains that if he wants, Grossman can arrange to have Zherdev put back in the KHL.
Why? Because Zherdev's ego won't allow him to play with the "kids" in Glens Falls. Not after being in the NHL for so long. Besides, I'm sure Paddock doesn't want to deal with that in Glens Falls. He has enough problems up there.
So, in order to save face, I imagine that they're going to just let Zherdev slip away. Of course, there is the possibility that another team picks him up, but the likelihood of that is slim to none.
Remember though, this is all my speculation. I could be totally wrong. Again, I'll try my best to keep you all updated.
In what seems to be a confirmation of my allegations, Steven Whyno reports that it wasn't the Flyers who wanted to get rid of Zherdev, it was Zherdev who wanted to get rid of the Flyers.
Whyno reports that agent Jay Grossman approached Holmgren and asked for Homer to waive Zherdev.
If my guess is right, Zherdev complained to Grossman a while ago. Grossman got the ball rolling in the KHL and, once he had a safety net, approached Holmgren about the waiver.
I'll place twenty bucks on the fact that 24 hours from now, Zherdev is on a flight to Russia to meet with his new team.
This also confirms my suspicion that this has nothing to do with the Flyers' recent span of injuries.
Zherdev was last seen speeding away in his Lincoln Towncar, according to the media. He didn't say a word, he just smiled.
My goodness, this is too juicy.
More to come...