NHL Free Agency News: Nikolai Zherdev Rumored to Want to Play for Jets

Matt EichelSenior Writer IJuly 27, 2011

Could Zherdev be a Jet?
Could Zherdev be a Jet?Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

After the signing of Russian prospect Ivan Telegin, according to the Winnipeg Sun, a Russian news organization is reporting that ex-Columbus Blue Jacket and Philadelphia Flyer Nikolai Zherdev has a desire to play for the Jets in Winnipeg.

At 26, Zherdev spent the last season with the Flyers on a one-year, $2 million contract .

In 421 career games in the NHL, Zherdev has collected 261 points after being selected as the fourth overall pick in 2003.

Zherdev has also played some time in the KHL playing 52 games in 2009-10 with Mytishchi Atlant, scoring 39 points.

No report yet has come from the Jets camp on whether or not Zherdev is a possibility, but with the team's somewhat relaxed free agent signing summer, Zherdev would be one of the biggest pickups.

Zherdev collected 22 points (16 goals, 6 assists) in 56 games with the Flyers last season.

He had career highs in Columbus in the 2007-08 season before contract disputes started and he went to the New York Rangers and then to the KHL. He netted 26 goals and added 35 assists in 82 games.

Zherdev scored 58 points the next season in New York before jetting to the KHL.

Perhaps because fellow Russians Nik Antropov and Alexander Burmistrov also play for the Jets Zherdev sees Winnipeg as a possible place to play since his contract was not renewed in Philadelphia.