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A one-year deal would make a lot of sense for Nikolai Zherdev, Flyers

Jul 9, 2010, 11:20 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for nikolaizherdev.jpgYesterday, 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.)

  1. trigzter - Jul 9, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    I don’t even want this guy if he wants a multi year deal. Carter is good and all, but who we really need to keep are Girouz and Leino; they’re studs.

  2. Russ - Jul 9, 2010 at 1:15 PM

    Leino has potential… he only showed some use in the playoffs (albeit once he cracked the lineup). He needs to carry that success into the regular season. Bottom line… keep Gagne

  3. Chris - Jul 9, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    Gagne is reaching the point of the 30s and is frequently injured. Carter needs to be fully healthy and needs to good linemates to achieve his success, so I say bye-bye to both and elevate Leino and Giroux. Hope that JVR shows us something too…Zherdev could be a steal if he stays in line and keeps his head on straight.

  4. grimjack - Jul 9, 2010 at 1:54 PM

    Homer seems to be working to have this team back in it next year. Pittsburgh is the only loser to make it back to the finals the following year in at least the last 20 years. It would be nice to follow that trend, and the current team came up a little short. It’s nice to see the defensive additions (and subtractions). If our defense is good enough, we can just use an orange traffic cone or scarecrow as goalie.

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