The Philadelphia Flyers have signed free agent right winger Nikolai Zherdev to a one-year contract, believed to be worth between $2 and $3 million.


The Flyers get:


Zherdev is an enigmatic top-six winger who bolted for the KHL last summer. He had consecutive 20+ goal seasons with Columbus in 2007-08 (26) and New York in 2008-09 (23).


Fantasy Players impacted:


It will be interesting to see where Zherdev slots in with the Flyers. Mike Richards is a center. Daniel Briere is much more effective as a center, and the Flyers love having Claude Giroux down the middle as well. Jeff Carter prefers center to wing as well, but he is probably going to be the one who gets bumped to the wing.


This signing almost guarantees that Simon Gagne has played his last game as a Flyer. Philadelphia needs to cut some cap space and they save a few million by replacing Gagne with Zherdev. Although Gagne has struggled with injuries over the past few years, he is still a legitimate top line winger and he was one of Philadelphia’s best players in the postseason this year. Philadelphia would love to add a starter, and they are believed to be targeting Jonathan Quick or Marty Turco.


Gagne is miles better defensively than Zherdev as well.


What does this mean for Ville Leino? He has one year left on his current contract, but he now has more competition for ice time. It looks like the Flyers will put three scoring lines together. Assuming Gagne is traded...


Van Riemsdyk-Richards-Carter




The XXX could be Arron Asham, who is currently seeking a new contract as a free agent.


Fantasy Players this helps, in order:


1. Zherdev (well, duh)

2. Gagne (if the Los Angeles rumors are true... he’ll be the go-to winger for the Kings)

3. Van Riemsdyk (Zherdev doesn’t play the left side, so he gets a huge promotion when/if Gagne is traded)


Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:


1. Leino

Write comment
Comments (11)add comment

UKflames said:

Carcillo I agree with TheRook, despite not being signed yet, i think carcillo slots in there somewhere as well.
July 10, 2010
Votes: +0

Ollie N said:

... What chance Nodl being moved in any Gagne deal, and what chance that his moving will make him fantasy relevant?
July 10, 2010
Votes: +0

angus said:

... Shoe – Zherdev did have options to stay in the NHL. Perhaps “bolt” was too strong a word.

Giroux may be third line center, but the key is ICE TIME. Don’t get fixated on this third line/second line business. People do the same with Staal in Pittsburgh (although it sounds like he may be moving to wing). He will see a ton of power play minutes. Consistent first unit guy. He is Philly’s most skilled forward. I’m not worried in the slightest as a Giroux owner.

July 10, 2010
Votes: +0

fzusher said:

... I also think this hurts Giroux rather than Leino. Why? The Hartnell-Briere-Leino line played like a top-6 line in the playoff. So it makes more sense to give it 2nd line minutes, and bump down the minutes of the Giroux line (still-learning C flanked by an enigmatic winger and a cheap winger) a bit.

The extra winger on that line could be Carcillo , who won't have a spot on the 4th line (Shelley/Cote - Betts - Laperriere), or Maroon (if they do the sensible thing and trade Carcillo to a team that can can afford to teach him responsibility on the fly).
July 09, 2010
Votes: +0

Nathan said:

Teh Doktor
... Thanks for clearing that up for me, TheRook.

If I wasn't so damn lazy, I'd have looked it up on the line combos in the tools. Didn't think of it.

Seems like losing Richards and Gagne wouldn't help Giroux either though. Zherdev, yeah. But I just don't like that guy at all. Plenty of skill but I don't care for the way he plays. Too one-dimensional, and that dimension isn't all that good. But it should be.

NZ always seemed like he could be as productive as Alex Kovalev - and yeah, I know, Kovie never lived up to his own skill level.
July 09, 2010
Votes: +0

TheRook said:

... The Flyers will roll 3 scoring lines like they did last year. We very much could see the ice time for the top 3 lines pretty even with the line who is the hottest that night leading the charge.

And Nathan, Carter never played with Giroux other than the occasional shift. Giroux either played 3rd line center or on RW with Richards and Gagne. IMO this helps giroux as Zherdev gives that skilled player to play with.

Also Angus, i think the XXX will be Carcillo rather than Asham. Not sure Asham is coming back.
July 09, 2010
Votes: +0

KJzz said:

Carter instead of Gagne? Huh...i know the current media focus has been on Gagne going, but doesn't it make more sense for Carter to be traded? They have a ton of depth at centre, and if they traded Carter, their lines would look more like:

Van Riemsdyk-Giroux-Leino

Granted, Leino did play well with Briere and Hartnell, so the right-side there is a bit flexible. I imagine more teams would be interested in Carter than Gagne
July 09, 2010
Votes: +0

JW said:

... I also see this signing as potentially hurting Giroux. No way he'll leapfrog Briere and attain the #2 C position. Now there's another RW ahead of him on the depth chart, so it'll be #3 C for yet another year.
July 09, 2010
Votes: +0

Nat said:

Leino Leino is listed as a LW in Yahoo, but you have him playing the right side. Is he normally a right or left winger?
July 09, 2010
Votes: +0

Nathan said:

Teh Doktor
... How does this not hurt Giroux? Didn't Carter play with Giroux last year most of the time? Or is that because you see Giroux making up for playing with a better player with more ice time?

Either way as a Carter/Giroux owner, I ain't likin it.
As a Pens fan, it's great. Zherdev sucks out loud.
July 09, 2010
Votes: -1

Shoeless said:

Responsibility in journalism Zherdev did not bolt to the KHL last year. The Rags walked away from him and his arbitration award of 4M. What was he supposed to do at that point?

Zherdev comes with baggage for sure - but I don't see a dominant characteristic being his desire to play in the motherland or that he is going to leave a team in the lurge on a whimsical notion to go to the KHL.
July 09, 2010
Votes: +0
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.