(Courtesy of The Hockey News)
After taking a year off from top hockey in the KHL, former New York Rangers winger Nikolai Zherdev returns to the NHL signing with rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers. Zherdev who originally started his pro career with the Columbus Blue Jackets comes back to the league having spent time with Atlant Moscow Oblast in Russia’s KHL last year.
The 25-year-old Kiev native opted for the KHL after the Rangers refused to award his money in arbitration, and will get $2 million for his stint with the Flyers. Zherdev originally played for CSKA Moscow of the now defunct Russian Superleague before being drafted by Columbus in 2003; in 365 games Zherdev has scored 99 goals and 140 assists.
This is a strong move for both Zherdev and Philadelphia who fell one game shy of Stanley Cup glory this past season. On one hand the $2 million isn’t much for a promising scorer who is only in his mid twenties however Zherdev does get rather streaky in his scoring. For Zherdev, he returns to the NHL after posting 39 points in 52 games for Atlant to a team which has high hopes for next season a far cry from his KHL club who finished 11th and quickly bounced from the playoffs.