We knew Nik Zherdev wasn’t going to come back to the Flyers. Looks like his time in the NHL is probably done for good. CSN is reporting that he signed a one year contract to go back to play in the KHL.
It’s a shame things didn’t work out for him. He was extremely talented, and had a real nose for the net. Offensively, he could be just as flashy as Claude Giroux. He had enough skills to create something out of nothing. He’s more than capable of holding his own at the NHL level. The only problem, is that he just didn’t try hard enough, often enough.
My thing with players like him, is that as long as your team isn’t made up of them entirely, then they have a role to fill. Not every forward is a good two way player. And they shouldn’t have to be. Some guys are simply there to score, and somebody else should worry about other things. Sure, it was frustrating at times to see him do nothing in his own end. And you knew he was capable of more because there were games down the stretch when he did come back, throw a few hits and start the transition game. But, that’s not his game, and he got in trouble for it.
He barely got any playing time, was benched for a ton of games, and still scored 16 goals. At that pace, he could have been close to a 40 goal scorer if he got the amount of playing time that he deserved. Coulda, shoulda, woulda. Still, more and more players are coming up through the ranks that can contribute on both ends of the ice. If a guy can’t score, but can play defense, there’s a sot for him. And while there are guys that are the opposite, I guess Zherdev just didn’t prove to be worth keeping around. I would have liked to see him back, but it wasn’t in the cards. And chances are, we probably won’t see him in the NHL again.
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