Nikolay Zherdev leaves the Flyers; who do we blame?

ST PAUL MN - SEPTEMBER 25: Nikolai Zherdev #93 of the Philadelphia Flyers shoots the puck over the shoulder of goaltender Niklas Backstrom #32 of the Minnesota Wild during the shootout at Xcel Energy Center on September 25 2010 in St Paul Minnesota. The Flyers defeated the Wild 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Nikolay Zherdev's career in orange and black is over. He's been waived today by the Philadelphia Flyers at the request of his agent, Jay Grossman. Here's what Paul Holmgren had to say today after the news came out, via Philly Sports Daily.

"His agent and Nik, they're obviously not happy with the situation here," general manager Paul Holmgren said. "They'd asked us to look around for options. Nothing really came of that through trades, so we'll see what happens with this.

"I don't know. I think Nikolay, he's struggled a little bit with being in and out of the lineup and perhaps his work ethic has dropped in practice," the general manager said. "But he needs to tough it out here and work harder if he wants to get back in the lineup."

Zherdev has been a healthy scratch frequently this season, as Peter Laviolette has opted to start guys like Jody Shelley and Dan Carcillo over him. He's been called every adjective you can use for enigma and he's certainly ruffled a few feathers in the Flyers organization with his attitude and his lack of work ethic.

At the same time, he has 15 goals this season and is an offensive weapon that the team could certainly use. His departure from the organization has no doubt pissed off a lot of fans, and there are a million different arguments out there on who deserves the blame. Let's try to sum them up. 

  • Zherdev is to blame. He floats in the defensive end and he has a poor work ethic. His poor attitude was more than enough reason to keep him in the press box. Laviolette is a tough coach and if Zherdev didn't want to commit to what the he wanted, he's right to hold him out of the lineup. It's not the first time an NHL team has had problems with the guy. Two times isn't a coincidence. 
  • Laviolette is to blame. His insistence on keeping Zherdev out of the lineup despite the fact that he's a proven goal scorer is nuts. Even if he didn't necessarily mesh with the team, he didn't deserve to be treated the way he was by Laviolette, the coaching staff and the organization.

These are the two overwhelming opinions here. I've voiced my personal opinion on this before, but I'll leave it out of the mix here because I don't want to sway the opinion of others. What do you think? Who is to blame here?

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