A one-year deal would make a lot of sense for Nikolai Zherdev, Flyers


Thumbnail image for nikolaizherdev.jpgYesterday, I expressed some misgivings about the Philadelphia Flyers’ interest in signing enigmatic winger Nikolai Zherdev. The thing is, I was under the impression that Zherdev was looking to sign a multi-year contract.

Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov reports that the Flyers and Zherdev are on the verge of signing a one-year deal, though.

Now, a lot still depends on a) the deal actually coming to fruition and b) how much that one year will cost. That being said, I feel like the Flyers are a lot wiser taking a single season swing at the mercurial forward instead of endangering their chances of keeping forwards such as Jeff Carter, Claude Giroux, Ville Leino … and possibly Simon Gagne?

If they can make the numbers fit – it could still cost them a pricey forward like Gagne – the Flyers could have quite the deep group of forwards.* They’d have Mike Richards, Danny Briere, James Van Riemsdyk, Carter, Giroux, Leino and Zherdev/Gagne.

* – And defensemen, too, actually.

Having a deep rotation of defensemen and forwards is one of the benefits of the “Detroit Red Wings system” of cheap goalies. Sure, there’s an element of “living dangerously” to such a plan. After all, weak goaltending can still submarine an otherwise strong team.

Still, the Flyers could send wave after wave of talented skaters at their opponents next season. It’s amazing how much of a difference a shorter-term contract can make.

(If it actually happens, that is.)

Already without Eberle, the Oilers could also be missing Hall tonight

Taylor Hall
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Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.

Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.

The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.

Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.

Sabres waive d-man Donovan

HKN Sabres Senators
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Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.

Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.

The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.

The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.