Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Flyers place Zherdev on waivers

by Bob Herpen
Phanatic Hockey Editor

Per general manager Paul Holmgren, the Flyers placed forward Nikolai Zherdev on waivers Wednesday afternoon.

"His agent and Nik, they’re obviously not happy with the situation here," Holmgren said. "They’d asked us to look around for options. Nothing really came of that through trades, so we’ll see what happens with this."

The 26-year-old Ukrainian hasn't played since February 10 against Carolina, and was memorably lost in RBC Center on Friday night at Carolina, forcing Jody Shelley to take the place of a flu-ridden Mike Richards.

Zherdev has collected 15 goals and 19 points in 47 games this season, his first with Philadelphia after a year in Russia's Continental Hockey League.

"I think at times for me it was just the level of play," Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette said. "It wasn’t the skill thing, it was the level that he played. There were other guys that were performing better. So there’s only nine that can go in there — the nine I felt were playing."

Teams have 24 hours in which to claim Zherdev. Holmgren did state after announcing the move that no teams have inquired about the Kiev-born winger. Given his rumored departure from the club's practice facility in Voorhees this afternoon without talking to anyone, and his recent behavior and declining work habits, a demotion to the minors is highly unlikely.

Should he clear by tomorrow afternoon, Russia could come calling. Zherdev notched 13 goals and 39 points in 52 games with Atlant Moscow in 2009-10.

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