His days were obviously numbered in Philadelphia, but we were all hoping it wouldn’t have to end like this.
Nikolay Zherdev has been placed on waivers, where he is sure to be claimed by another team.
For weeks, there has been speculation over his status – from the puzzling decision to scratch him in favor of Jody Shelley night after night to the constant mystery surrounding potential trades.
Paul Holmgren has provided some confusing answers regarding him as well – denying that any team has interest in trading for him when clearly there are teams out there that could use his talent, then seemingly implying that teams would be willing to trade for him, but saying he was reluctant to get rid of a body that could be invaluable come playoff time.
So instead of trading him for something – whatever the return may be – Zherdev has been placed on waivers, where he will be thrown away for nothing. So much for keeping him around for the playoffs.
The recent injuries to defensemen Oskars Bartulis and Sean O’Donnell shouldn’t have played a role in this. O’Donnell has skated and is a possibility to play Thursday. If not, Bartulis may still be available if the results from his MRI come back positive. Even if neither are cleared to play, they could always call up Erik Gustafsson or Danny Syvret.
So something had to prompt this sudden move. Either the Flyers simply have no plans for him, and are trying to cut loose the albatross, or they’re gearing up for a move prior to Monday’s trade deadline and needed to free up the cap space.
What kind of move they would aim to make is unclear – their depth on defense and offense remain unquestioned. And adding another goalie to the Boucher-Bobrovsky-Leighton swing would only serve to cause more problems.
In the unlikely event that Zherdev does clear waivers, he can be sent up to Adirondack to play for the Phantoms, or simply left to collect dust.
It’s understandable that Zherdev simply didn’t fit with this team, but it’s hard to believe that they couldn’t have gotten something, anything, on the trade market.