According to Dmitry Chesnokov, reports in Russia indicate that the Philadelphia Flyers have signed free agent right winger Nikolai Zherdev to a contract, but the financial terms have yet to be released. In fact, there has not yet been a confirmation by the Flyers.
Zherdev played in Russia last season with Atlant Moscow Oblast of the KHL after the New York Rangers let him walk, following arbitration in which he was rewarded $3.9 million from the arbitrator. The 25 year old scored 13 goals and 26 assists in 52 games.
The former No. 4 overall pick immediately becomes the top ranked right winger on the Flyers roster, but will need an attitude adjustment to reach his full potential. Zherdev is unreliable in his own zone, takes shifts off, is very inconsistent, and can be very selfish.
On the bright side, Zherdev is one of the most offensively gifted individuals with blazing speed, and can do pretty much whatever he wants with the puck. He’s very dangerous in one-on-one situations, and will put points on the scoresheet.
By signing Zherdev, it’s almost set in stone that Simon Gagne will be traded to create cap space, however, it makes a little more sense with Zherdev in the fold. It also increases the chances of the Flyers letting Daniel Carcillo walk after his arbitration hearing.
Update: Zherdev's agent has confirmed that his client and the Flyers are currently in negotiations. Four or five teams have also shown an interest in Zherdev, but the Flyers are believed to be "closest" to making a deal with an agreement to likely come sometime tomorrow.
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