Flyers Sign Zherdev, What Does it Mean for Gagne?

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Nikolai Zherdev was signed by the Flyers Friday.

    The Flyers announced a significant free-agent signing Friday afternoon.

    The Eastern Conference champs have inked Ukrainian right wing Nikolai Zherdev to a one-yer deal.

    "Nik is a highly-skilled player who, at 25-years-old, we feel will be a good fit to our core of forwards," Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren said in a statement. 

    "Prior to playing last season in Russia, Nik ranked as one of the top young point-producers in the NHL. We are pleased to add him to our team."

    The 6-foot-2, 203-pound forward last played in the NHL in 2008-09 for the New York Rangers. That season he scored 23 goals and had 35 assists.

    Bringing the 25-year-old player on board could mean the longest tenured Flyer will be headed out of town.

    But Simon Gagne, who's been with the Flyers since 1999, says not so fast.

    The 30-year-old has disputed reports that he agreed to waive his no-trade clause.

    "I have a no-trade clause and I didn't waive it," Gagne told French-speaking television station RDS. "The Flyers have a salary cap problem, and I'm a player that is on the tail end of his contract, with still a year to complete. The next few days may help us to see what's going to happen for me."

    Zherdev's signing helps explain why the Flyers may be looking to unload Gagne.

    Zherdev is five years younger than Gagne and the Ukrainian was signed a deal worth about $2 million per season.  Per team policy, financial terms of this deal were not released.

    As Gagne noted in his RDS interview, the Flyers have salary cap issues, and Gagne is owed $5.25 million next season.

    If Gagne is unwilling to waive his no trade clause, the Flyers might just waive him, according to yardbarker.com.

    Gagne has battled injuries throughout his career.

    But he came back early from a foot injury in the 2010 playoffs, and helped key the Flyers historic comeback win over the Boston Bruins.