Is anyone else as excited as I am that the Philadelphia Flyers signed Nikolai Zherdez? Obviously he’s not a big name, but you’re not gonna have a team full of all-stars anymore in the salary cap age. Look at Chicago; they won the cpu and are having a firesale with all of their second tier talent. Meanwhile, the Flyers have added defensive depth, toughness, and now, more offense. Zherdev was a pretty good sniper for a few years on a horrible Columbus Blue Jackets team, and one season for the New York Rangers. He went to the KHL for a year,and now he’s back. fairly cheap too: 1 year for $2M.
One little hiccup in all of this, is that we are now over the salary cap. And unfortunately, it seems like Simon Gagne is the odd man out. He makes over $5m this coming season, and rumors are flying that we’ve asked him to waive his no-trade clause. Reports say that we’re talking to the LA Kings about either one of their goalies. I’m guessing that to make this work we’re offering Gagne and Boucher for Jonathan Quick. This makes sense for LA for a number of reasons. First, the save $900k in the goalie position, they get a proven scorer in Gags, and they still have close to enough room to sign Kovalchuk.
There’s going to be a ton of line shuffling now, with all of these changes. Mike Richards won’t have to deal with Carcillo on his line anymore. I know they seemed effective, but I’m against a fighter being on the same line as a skill guy. Richards doesn’t need protection, he can handle himself just fine. I think he’ll be paired up with Zherdev, and I like it. Richie can dish, Nik can score. As we get closer to preseason, and dealing and shuffling is complete, I’ll try to predict a few line combos.
I feel like I’ve gotten a bit off track with this, so I’ll just sum it up quickly. I’ve already mentioned that Zherdev provides a lot of scoring depth. What I like most is that he’s a wing. We already have bunch of centers, the last thing we need is yet another one. I remember Rangers fans criticizing his defense, but if he lights the lamp enough, I’ll let that slide. I think Lavy will change his attitude a bit to conform more to the team game anyway. for now, I’m very happy with this signing.
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