Zherdev has been asking for a trade… for a while

The Columbus Dispatch has reported that Rolland Hedges, Nikolai Zherdev’s agent, has been asking Doug MacLean for a trade for some time now.

And apparently he has been talking to other GMs about Zherdev, from his quotes to the Dispatch:

    Zherdev’s agent, Rolland Hedges, said the Carter signing “doesn’t surprise me. I’ve thought they would want to trade Nikolai or keep him in Russia. We knew Doug’s position, and now we know the next step. What’s the next step after this? That is the question.”

    Does Zherdev now want a trade?

    “We asked Columbus to trade him months ago if they couldn’t sign him,” Hedges said. “As I’ve told everyone, Nikolai wants to play in the NHL.”

However, the Dispatch reports that MacLean seems set on not trading Zherdev, and with the signing of Anson Carter that would apparently put the Blue Jackets on their self-imposed $34M budget, leaving room for further signings later on if they look to make the playoffs. And in essence it seems Zherdev will be spending the season playing hockey in Russia.

    MacLean has been adamant: He’s not trading Zherdev. MacLean recently told a satellite radio audience that Zherdev, who is playing for Khimik Voskresenk in Russia, can stay “in that developmental league” for the year and face a $500,000 offer when he decides to return.

    MacLean toned down his rhetoric last night.

    “I’ve met with ownership and discussed the matter at great length,” MacLean said. “We are committed to negotiating with Zherdev. … It (an agreement) is just not happening right now. For whatever reason, we just haven’t been able to find common ground. We can’t agree on comparables.”

    It’s unlikely a deal will get done between now and Oct. 6, when Zherdev’s contract with his Russian league team kicks in for the full season. He will make more than $1.5 million, tax-free.

This situation is somewhat similar to what Kesler and Nonis were going through when Clarke stepped in, in the sense that they were negotiating still. Regardless of whether it is likely or not, I am curious: What would everyone think if Clarke stepped in here too, and made an offer to Zherdev?

For those interested in reading the original article, the link is HERE