Jul 9, 2010, 11:20 AM EDT
Yesterday, I expressed some misgivings about the Philadelphia Flyers’ interest in signing enigmatic winger Nikolai Zherdev. The thing is, I was under the impression that Zherdev was looking to sign a multi-year contract.
Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov reports that the Flyers and Zherdev are on the verge of signing a one-year deal, though.
Now, a lot still depends on a) the deal actually coming to fruition and b) how much that one year will cost. That being said, I feel like the Flyers are a lot wiser taking a single season swing at the mercurial forward instead of endangering their chances of keeping forwards such as Jeff Carter, Claude Giroux, Ville Leino … and possibly Simon Gagne?
If they can make the numbers fit – it could still cost them a pricey forward like Gagne – the Flyers could have quite the deep group of forwards.* They’d have Mike Richards, Danny Briere, James Van Riemsdyk, Carter, Giroux, Leino and Zherdev/Gagne.
* – And defensemen, too, actually.
Having a deep rotation of defensemen and forwards is one of the benefits of the “Detroit Red Wings system” of cheap goalies. Sure, there’s an element of “living dangerously” to such a plan. After all, weak goaltending can still submarine an otherwise strong team.
Still, the Flyers could send wave after wave of talented skaters at their opponents next season. It’s amazing how much of a difference a shorter-term contract can make.
(If it actually happens, that is.)
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