By Justin Adkins:
Tim Pannaccio is reporting that forward Nik Zherdev has cleared waivers.
The Flyers will likely assign him to their minor league affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms. It’s possible that Zherdev could choose to return to Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League as opposed to accepting his demotion. If that happens, the Flyers would likely suspend him, meaning they wouldn’t be obligated to pay Zherdev’s otherwise guaranteed $2 million salary. Either way, Zherdev’s $2 million cap hit clears the books, which could allow the Flyes some roster maneuverability as the trade deadline looms.
Zherdev is only 26 and has previously displayed pretty good offensive capability at the NHL level. But he’s also gained a reputation as a lazy slacker. As the playoffs approach, it speaks very loudly about Zherdev’s work ethic that not only are Flyers willing to dump what could be seen as decent depth, but no other team is willing to take on Zherdev either.
Flyers general manager has yet to comment on the team’s plans for Zherdev going forward. When discussing the move on Wednesday, Holmgren wouldn’t commit to any particular course of action.
“If he’s not picked up I’m not sure what direction we’re gonna go in,” he said. “I’ll have to think about that. I still like the idea – he’s pretty good insurance if one of your skill guys gets hurt. So I gotta think long and hard on that.”
For his part, Zherdev seems to be taking the move in stride. This morning he took part in an optional skate with the rest of the team.
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