• December 2, 2021

Leino Staying and Zherdev Going

Some interesting news and speculation has hit the blogosphere today regarding two of the Flyers top scorers.

The acquisition of winger Kris Versteeg brought into question how the Flyers would be able to re-sign Ville Leino at the end of the season. Versteeg has one more year on his contract for $3.083 million, which will prevent the team from moving ahead with the offers that were on the table for Leino.

According to Andy Strickland of True Hockey, Leino was made aware of the issue prior to the trade. He was told the team could use the space available to make the trade and work out his extension in the offseason or sign now.

In his words, “I want to win the Cup.” I guarantee you general manager Paul Holmgren will find a way to keep him come June, based on that level of commitment.

As far as Nikolai Zherdev is concerned, he’s on his way out the door. He was scratched last night and replaced by Jody Shelley, which says all you need to know about the team’s faith in him.

Some have speculated that if the Flyers can’t find a trade partner, he may be waived. It’s gotten to that point.

My hope is that they are able to trade him for a first or second round pick to replace those lost in previous trades. I’ve been following the L.A. Kings’ moves closely, as they could be a potential dance partner come deadline time.

They’ve been bouncing in and out of playoff contention and could use additional scoring, as they don’t have the depth up front that some of their competition has.

I don’t dislike Zherdev, but clearly the coaching staff does. He came exactly as advertised, though, and has performed up to expectations.

Josh Janet

Josh Janet was raised in Northern New Jersey, but by an odd set of circumstances, is a Philadelphia sports fan. While recently converted to the Phillies, Josh is a diehard Flyers fan and can be expected to stay on top of the latest NHL news.

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  • I don’t get the Zherdev hate. He’s +7 which is more than can be said for Shelly or Carcillo. Heck Richards is only +9.

    Plus he’s only second to Giroux as far has best hands on the team.

  • While Zherdev is an excellent hockey player…he doesn’t fit the system. And come playoff time you need guys who fit the system in order to be successful.

    Zherdev would be the ideal for a team that plays like the old capitals. And his +7 is misleading because he isn’t even close in ice time compared to some of the other guys like Richards.

    Bottom line is….he is a good hockey player, great hands and he can score. He lacks a defensive mind and he doesn’t fit into the left wing lock & forechecking system that Lavy uses….therefore he is just wasted space right now.

  • This is tragic as he came in and averaged over a point a game in preseason and leads the league in goals per time played. Never got a chance on crappy power play and was shuffled on lines. Sure his defense is suspect but he is a plus seven and last few games he was first guy back… Plus over passed; handed out some checks and created opportunities. Lavvy did not like him day one and humiliated him. I think Holmgren was right that zherdev definitely could be the sniper they need and plug for Gagne (my all time favorite player) production.
    Zherdev is a 40 goal scorer and should be in front of Nodl, powe, carcillo, hartnell, shelley and Versteeg.

    By the way Chicago did not resign Versteeg because he was not worth it!!!!!

  • Even bigger than the problem of him not fitting the system is I’m pretty sure Zherdev’s #1 goal this year has been himself, not the team. He’s a one year rental, he knows it, and he’s hoping to put together a highlight reel that will get him a big contract next year.

    I still don’t understand why you have both Shelly and Carcillo in the lineup, though. Surely having Z is more useful than having two enforcers.

  • I would have to agree with bolder flyer that he has definitely been making additional efforts over the course of the season to play defense, to backcheck, and to pass more. However, I think it’s closer in reason to what Horatio has to say- that he’s doing what he feels he’s supposed to do for ice time rather than how he wants to play. I’m not sure how he has bonded with the team over the season, but you don’t get the sense that he would go through a wall for any of them.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing more of a Zherdev-Carter-Giroux line, though.

  • The whole thing with Zherdev is he is a coaster. He doesn’t go hard into corners. His last game in Carolina he was seen just watching when he could have skated to the corner and retrieved the puck.

    He is lazy. If he isn’t scoring he is useless. Laviolette had to do a lot to get these young guys out of the habit of coasting. It happened a lot with John Stevens here. This season has shown them compete a lot harder and Zherdev just doesn’t do that.

    As a scorer he is the most skilled on the team. But with the Flyers having so much depth in the scoring department he isn’t needed. If they can get a 3rd rounder for him I would be happy.

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