Flyers to Add Winger Nik Zherdev; Gagne a Goner?


According to multiple sources, the Flyers are finalizing a deal with talented right winger Nikolai Zherdev. While Flyers sources have not confirmed the contract, Russian media as well as Zherdev's former team, the KHL Atlant Moscow Oblast, believe the deal is complete.

Zherdev was the fourth overall pick in the 2003 draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets. This alone proves that he was never short of talent. In six seasons in the NHL, Zherdev has reached the 20 goal plateau three times, including a career-high 61 points in the 2007-2008 season. After a down year with the Rangers two seasons ago, Zherdev fled to the KHL in Russia because there were no NHL teams interested in his services for $4 million per year. The downside to Zherdev is his character; many have questioned his work ethic and coach-ability since his days with Columbus.

Because the contract has not been finalized, any money and length-of-contract figures are pure speculation. However, one would think that any contract would be near $4 mil. per in order for him to consider returning the the NHL.

The Flyers are rolling the dice by signing Zherdev, in a similar fashion to the Ray Emery contract last season. Both players were productive in the NHL, both have plenty of talent, both were relatively young, and both have character issues. While the move could pay huge dividends on the ice if everything works out, I believe $4 mil. per would be too much of a chance to take for the cap-strapped Flyers. I'll pass further judgment until the terms are released. 

If the Flyers sign Zherdev, they will be millions over the salary cap. This would likely spell the end of Gagne's career with Philadelphia, considering he waived his no trade clause earlier this week. Moving Gagne would clear $5.25 mil. off their salary cap.

Video after the jump.

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