A 15 goal season to date is not something to scoff at in today’s NHL. However, if you score 15 goals and fail to abide by Peter Laviolette’s system, that apparently warrants subsequent benching and a waiving of your 2 million dollar contract. Now Nikolai Zherdev waits for yet another possible destination in his long road to redemption in the NHL.
From the beginning of the season, it should have been clear to the Flyers ‘higher-ups’ thought that Zherdev was a player who put his needs before the team’s. In his days with Columbus and New York, Nikolai was never talked about as a “team player.” In his first few games, Flyers fans were treated to many dazzling tricks the Ukrainian-born, Zherdev, had to offer. He used his impressive stick-handling to elude defenders and create offensive opportunities. But there is always a price to pay no matter how much talent one player possesses. Zherdev’s defensive game, inconsistent play, and, ultimately, his lack of effort, did not sit well with Flyers coach, Peter Laviolette.
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