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Flyers waive Zherdev; Scottie Upshall suspended

The Flyers have waived Nik Zherdev and his $2 million salary.

Zherdev has been on the outs with coach Peter Laviolette -- and the Flyers could not even find him in Raleigh on Friday night when Mike Richards came down with a stomach illness.

General manager Paul Holmgren said Zherdev and his agent, Jay Grossman, requested that they try and find something else. Holmgren said there was not much interest in way of a trade.

"It had eroded to the point where they wanted to see what else is out there," Holmgren said.

Zherdev declined comment and climbed into a limo outside the Flyers' practice facility.

Zherdev has 15 goals but has been in and out of the lineup in favor of Jody Shelle

"His agent and Nik, they obviously weren't very happy with the situation here," Holmgren said. "They asked us for other options. Nothing really came of that through trade. We'll see what happens at noon tomorrow".

Holmgren was asked about Zherdev's future with the Flyers:

"That's a topic for another day," he said. "It doesn't necessarily mean anything. The request came to me to get him to another team and I'm following up on it."

Did Holmgren think Zherdev would be returning Russia? "I haven't gone that far down the road yet," Holmgren said.

About the Flyers' suddenly banged up defense, Holmgren said:  "We have some young guys that we like playing with the Phantoms - Danny Syvret, Erik Gustafsson, and Matt Walker is an option."

What happened with Zherdev?

"I'm not sure, I think about this all the time," Holmgren said. "It was kind of an experiment to bring him here and see what he can do. There were periods of time it was good. He had 15 goals in limited power-play time and limited minutes.

"But over the course of time here, things have eroded. Nik's work ethic has probably dropped off. Right now he's just not fitting in. We'll see what happens. I think everyone wants to play and I don't think he's any different in that regard. The fact that he wasn't playing, maybe he didn't respond the right way a lot of times."


Phoenix Coyotes left wing Scottie Upshall has been suspended for two games and will forfeit $24,193.54 for an illegal hit delivered to Flyers defenseman Oskars Bartulis in Tuesday night's game at the Wells Fargo Center, the NHL announced today.

The incident occurred at 17 seconds of the second period. Upshall hit an unsuspecting Bartulis, who was injured on the play. Upshall was assessed a minor penalty for boarding.

Upshall's fine is based on his average annual salary and is calculated under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

Upshall will miss the Coyotes' next two games -- tonight at Tampa Bay and Friday at Columbus. He will be eligible to return Sunday at Chicago.


In other news:

* According to Paul Holmgren, defenseman Oskars Bartulis, "is out with left shoulder instability and will require more testing tomorrow."

* Defenseman Sean O'Donnell returned to practice despite initial indication that he would miss 10-14 days with a lower body injury.

* Defenseman Matt Walker is on his way back from Adirondack to have surgery tomorrow on his knee. He injured it on Saturday. He is expected to be out a month.