Flyers Sign Zherdev, What Does it Mean for Gagne?

The Flyers announced a significant free-agent signing Friday afternoon.

The Eastern Conference champs have inked Ukrainian right wing Nikolai Zherdev to a one-yer deal.

“Nik is a highly-skilled player who, at 25-years-old, we feel will be a good fit to our core of forwards,” Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren said in a statement.

“Prior to playing last season in Russia, Nik ranked as one of the top young point-producers in the NHL. We are pleased to add him to our team.”

The 6-foot-2, 203-pound forward last played in the NHL in 2008-09 for the New York Rangers. That season he scored 23 goals and had 35 assists.

Bringing the 25-year-old player on board could mean the longest tenured Flyer will be headed out of town.

But Simon Gagne, who’s been with the Flyers since 1999, says not so fast.

The 30-year-old has disputed reports that he agreed to waive his no-trade clause.

“I have a no-trade clause and I didn’t waive it,” Gagne told French-speaking television station RDS. “The Flyers have a salary cap problem, and I’m a player that is on the tail end of his contract, with still a year to complete. The next few days may help us to see what’s going to happen for me.”

Zherdev’s signing helps explain why the Flyers may be looking to unload Gagne.

Zherdev is five years younger than Gagne and the Ukrainian was signed a deal worth about $2 million per season. Per team policy, financial terms of this deal were not released.

23 Responses to Flyers Sign Zherdev, What Does it Mean for Gagne?

  1. leafy says:

    Are the Flyers really better off with Zherdev over Gagne? Paul Holmgren screwed this one up. I'd take Gagne easily.

  2. cam7777 says:

    I think there's more at work here than we think though.  It's not simply a matter of Gagne over Zherdev.  I think Holmgren could be extremely active in the next couple weeks, and I expect he might be the one that ends up with Kovalchuk.  If Holmgren were to waive Gagne (or trade him for no salary return), and also trade Carter for an ELC and picks (should be easy enough), he would have cleared up enough space to land Kovalchuk.  Personally, I think that's what he's doing:

    To LAK: Carter
    To PHI: Bernier/Quick, Hickey, 1st in 2011

    -waive Simon Gagne

    -sign Ilya Kovalchuk

    Assuming it was Bernier in the LA deal, they could afford a cap hit of 8.3 million on Kovalchuk.  And if it were Quick, they'd have to go longer term to get the cap hit down to 7.3 million.  Still, it certainly puts signing Zherdev into perspective.  Zherdev and Kovalchuk more than replace Carter and Gagne's offense, and probably with a lot less injury woes.  All the while, Carter gets turned into future assets and a goalie for the future.

    Holmgren's working on something big here.

    Kovalchuk – Richards – Zherdev
    Leino – Briere – Hartnell
    J.V.R. – Giroux – Laperriere
    Shelley – Betts – Asham

    Pronger – Carle
    Timonen – Coburn
    Meszaros – O'Donnell

    Leighton – Bernier/Quick

    Who's stopping that juggernaut? 

  3. reinjosh says:

    Even gaining a goalie like Quick or Bernier its still only a lateral move. I am not at all convinced Quick is the goalie make him out to be and I can't see Bernier making a huge impact for 2 years at least.

    You take away the flexibility of losing 5 million in Gagne's salary and lose the much more trade-able contract of Carter (who has at least an equal potential, if not more than Kovy). Is that worth getting a goalie and a player locked up to a cap constricting deal? I wouldn't do it.

    It would really depend on the chemistry Richards would have with two brand new linemates. If he could do it and if Bernier/Quick are the goalies people say they are then it might be a move that solidifies a potential dynasty.

  4. cam7777 says:

    A lot of people expect Bernier will come in and be Rask-like in the NHL though, so to say he's not going to have an impact is kind of up in the air.  Of course he could flop, but I think the general consensus is that he will be a strong goalie fairly quickly.  Plus, Philly don't need the brilliant goaltending night in and night out – the fans are clamoring for a long-term solution.  This would be it.

    Also, Carter has no where near the potential of Kovalchuk.  I would hazard a guess that Carter will have a very hard time ever replicating 40 goals.  To me, he's kind of like the Jordan Staal of 2nd line centers.  He's probably the best 2nd line center in the world, but it would be a risk to have him as your main offensive attraction.  Kovalchuk is a legitimate all star.  I don't know, I've always been a tad skeptical about Carter for some reason.  Maybe I just have a crazy bias against him, but I don't think he's THAT good, ya know?

    Anyways, it's all a moot point. Darren Millard is reporting that the Kovy sweepstakes have come to an end, and that LA has won them, and will make the announcement tomorrow as to not be overshadowed by the World Cup.  I'll still take Gagne for free though, that would be sweet.

  5. reinjosh says:

    Kovy to LA finally? This guy seems to think so.

  6. reinjosh says:

    Well I know the talent he has is considerable, I just mean its illogical to think that he will be Rask like right away. Its more likely he has a decent first and second year and then becomes that major goalie.

    Yeah I can see where your coming from. And the Kovy thing I just saw haha. Gagne for free or less is still an option. I can't see Holmgren signing Zherdev to be a third line forward.

  7. cam7777 says:

    But I think Philly is thinking something like this in a trade like that: Even if he isn't brilliant right away, we have a good enough goalie in Leighton, and we can easily trade for a more established goalie (ie. Giguere) at the deadline for a 5th of the price and cap space. 

  8. reinjosh says:

    fair enough.

  9. leafy says:

    I think Kovy is f*cked in the head.

  10. reinjosh says:

    Apparently the Kings are denying it now. This is starting to piss me off. Just *****ing end the whole ordeal. I want trades to happen.

  11. cam7777 says:

    Some fans have made good points though – since when is it customary for a UFA to fly to a city to discuss money face-to-face.  Lombardi says he is doing this "like any other UFA".  Umm, I'm not aware of any UFA's that do this.  Most of them have their agents do all the talking, outside of maybe a pitch.

    I think the deal is done and Lombardi wants to have a press conference so he can pin a jersey on him and parade him around for a while.  Lombardi is probabaly pretty proud to have finally shaken the monkey off his bank in regards to never being able to land the big fish.

  12. leafy says:

    He's had at least 1 offer of $100M and he still wants to think about it. I'm starting to agree with Burke. Who needs this selfish prick?

  13. hockey_lover says:

    Interesting response now that it is happening with a non-leafs player.

    The Sundin saga went on for months. Not one leafs fan on here said a word.
    the Kaberle debacle has been going on for ages. Not one leafs fan on here has had a complaint.

    Now, a player from another team is all over the news and make waves (be it good or bad) and now its a problem?


  14. Kev_Leafs says:

    Actually, several of us have complained that we want the damn Kaberle trade to happen already – myself included.  Many were extremely annoyed at the Sundin situation – more so at the deadline, but nevertheless.

    But, we aren't morons and we can see that the Kovalchuk situation has to resolve itself before the second round of free agents are signed and trades really start happening.  So, since we want Kaberle to be traded (and only have 5 more weeks to do so) we want Kovalchuk signed, anywhere, so we can make our trade.

    Nice try though – you know, you don't read anything, you see the opportunity to insult Leaf fans, you take it (despite being entirely wrong), and then you crawl back into your hole.  I'm looking forward to your next feeble attempt.

  15. hockey_lover says:

    Correct .. I dont read anything. How did you guess?

    You're almost right. I gave up reading ALMOST everything .. cause 9 out of 10 articles are related to the Leafs so I dont bother anymore.

    Yep .. feeble *blink blink*

    Carry on sweetums.

  16. cam7777 says:

    Haha, I think everyone's just a little on edge from having to deal with lafleur's idiocy day in and day out.  Fact is, Leaf fans didn't care about Sundin signing because it was irrelevent – he wasn't coming back to Toronto.  Everyone knew it was Vancouver or New York from day one.  It wasn't even a Leafs topic when it was relevent.  And I absolutely hate the Kaberle drama.  I want him traded or resigned asap.

    I have no problem with Kovalchuk taking his time, it's really just the matter of the market being completely held up that annoys me.  I want to write before and after articles for the site, but it's impossible when you know so many teams are still going to make a ton of signings, and that there's probably quite a few fallout trades to go down.  That's the only reason I'm annoyed.

  17. hockey_lover says:

    Wasnt so much directed at you. Yourself, mojo, nords, and reinjosh are essentially the only ones on this site that ARENT completely insane (just a little insane .. hehheh).

    I was surprised when reinjosh said it to be honest, simply because he IS so level headed.

    Like I said, I just find some irony in a leafs fan being on a site where 95% of the material is leafs related (which gets RETARDEDLY redundant), complaining about a non-leafs players' drama. Especially from one of you guys I mentioned. Its very much unlike you guys. Most of the other hammers on this site? Not surprising at all.

  18. cam7777 says:

    Haha, fair enough.  Everyone is going a bit crazy with Burke taking a hiatus for his fishing trip, and Kaberle still untraded/unsigned.  I suspect once there is some closue on these issues, everyone will go back to normal.  This site has been more hostile that usual lately, actually.  I even find myself arguing with Nords.  Although we are civil enough to argue nicely, I'd like to think, seems like everyone is a bit on edge.

  19. Kramer says:

    What about me? I'm not insane too. You forgot the K-man.

  20. hockey_lover says:

    Oh no .. you are clearly insane K-man. But you arent a douchebag either 🙂

  21. reinjosh says:

    Really? Thats what your going with? I know for a fact that I have already complained about the Kaberle trade and wanting it to be over. In fact, if you fully read my comment, you could have seen that I even alluded to it at the end. But so much for literacy.

    And I was sick of the Sundin saga too. Regardless it makes not sense as to why your making a deal about it. Even if what you said was true (and from most people on here it isn't), what difference does it make?

  22. reinjosh says:

    Well thanks I guess. I would agree with Cam that its more that he seems to be holding up the market. And I just posted something you should probably just ignore. A little more non-level headedness after a long day haha. Just ignore it. Doesn't usually happen so no big deal.

  23. reinjosh says:

    again, ignore stupid comment.

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