Zherdev clears waivers

Nikolay Zherdev cleared waivers Thursday. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Nik Zherdev has cleared waivers.

Despite reported interest from Atlanta and Nashville, no team was willing to take a flier on Zherdev and his 15 goals, despite just having to pay him $494,624 for the remainder of the season.

Zherdev posted 15 goals in 47 games with the Flyers before being waived on Wednesday at noon by the Flyers, at the request of Zherdev and his agent, Jay Grossman.

Grossman told the Daily News that his camp had not been given permission to speak to other teams about Zherdev’s availability and they had not requested permission to do so, either.

Now, the Flyers will need to decide what they do with Zherdev for the remainder of the season.

Zherdev can either be assigned to the Adirondack Phantoms or remain with the Flyers. He would come off the Flyers’ salary cap if assigned to Adirondack, allowing them to bring in another forward or defenseman before the Feb. 28 trade deadline.

Paul Holmgren said on Wednesday that he still liked the idea of Zherdev as an “insurance policy” in case one of his skilled players were to be injured.

Despite Holmgren’s claim that Zherdev’s situation had eroded with the Flyers, Grossman said he did not believe Zherdev’s status with the Flyers was damaged beyond repair.

[UPDATE: 2:05 pm] One team source said Thursday afternoon that the Flyers are currently planning on keeping Zherdev on the active roster through the trade deadline to weigh their options before making a decision.

Zherdev has been a healthy scratch for six straight games, but he curiously participated in the Flyers' optional morning skate on Thursday.

Depending on the Flyers' decision, Zherdev also has the option to not report back to the Flyers (or Phantoms) and head home to Russia, at which point Zherdev would not only come off the Flyers’ salary cap but the Flyers would also not be responsible for the remainder of his salary. That would likely spell the end to Zherdev's NHL career, though.

It was a big change from his surprising exit on Wednesday, when Zherdev smiled as he left through a side door at the Flyers’ training center before being whisked away in a limousine.

BOB IN NET: One day after being questioned about Sergei Bobrovsky’s puck handling skills after a questionable night in net against the Coyotes on Tuesday, coach Peter Laviolette is going back to Bobrovsky for his second straight start.

It is the first time that Bobrovsky and Brian Boucher have not alternated starts in six games.

Bobrovsky will face former first round pick Al Montoya. The Flyers have lost to the Islanders just twice since 2007.

For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers

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