According to TSN, the Flyers have placed forward Nik Zherdev on waivers.
The move comes three days after Zherdev’s agent Jay Grossman and Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren met in New York on Sunday.
Although some expected the flighty 26-year-old to be moved by the Feb. 28 NHL trade deadline, it wasn’t a guarantee that any team would be interested. Called an insurance player by Holmgren over the weekend, despite 15 goals, four assists and a plus-7 rating in 47 games, Zherdev found himself the odd-man out on many nights. Also, Zherdev’s finesse style played against him as coach Peter Laviolette opted for players like Dan Carcillo and Andreas Nodl, who he considers to be better on the forecheck, while adding a physical edge.
A healthy scratch since Feb. 10 — on Sunday — Holmgren shed light on why Zherdev was being held off the roster.
“He has struggled a little bit being in-and-out of the lineup and perhaps his work ethic has dropped in practice,” Holmgren said. “He needs to tough it out here and work harder if he wants to get back in the lineup.”
Should Zherdev, an expiring contract, be claimed or clear, the Flyers would have an extra $2 million on the salary cap. With an expected injury diagnoses coming to spare defenseman Oskars Bartulis, after taking an awkward hit by Scott Upshall in Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes, the Flyers may choose to add a depth defenseman or bring up Matt Walker from the Adirondack Phantoms.