Zherdev far from cool to idea of playing in 'Peg

Nikolai Zherdev said in an interview Thursday that he is open to the idea of playing in Winnipeg...

Nikolai Zherdev said in an interview Thursday that he is open to the idea of playing in Winnipeg next season.

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:53 AM ET

WINNIPEG - Nikolai Zherdev isnít sure if heís going to play in the NHL or the Kontinental Hockey League this season.

If he does remain in the NHL, one of the teams Zherdev is reportedly considering is the Winnipeg Jets.

To this point, thereís been no indication from the Jets that the feeling is mutual or if he could factor into their plans.

During an interview with broadstreethockey.com, Zherdev made it perfectly clear he isnít worried about the cold weather and heís already spoken to former Jet Alexei Zhamnov about the city.

ďThe weather is not a priority to me,Ē Zherdev told broadstreethockey.com. ďThe most important thing is to get a good role on the team, a good coach and a good contract. Everything related to climate and geography doesnít basically mean anything.

ďI met with Vityaz GM Alexei Zhamnov a little while ago, he played three years in Winnipeg. He said itís very cold and a lot of snow there in the winter, which just makes it an ideal place for hockey. Great! Manitoba doesnít scare me. I wasnít born in Africa after all.Ē

Zherdev, a 26-year-old skilled winger, didnít discuss the nature of negotiations with any of the teams heís got his eye on.

ďI donít know all the details of the situation. The agent does,Ē said Zherdev. ďBut I can say that Iím seriously considering all offers from both NHL and KHL.Ē

A call, an e-mail and text message left with Rolland Hedges, Zherdevís North American agent, was not returned.

There is some familiarity with Zherdev for head coach Claude Noel, who was an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets under Ken Hitchcock during the 2007-08 season when Zherdev put up career-highs of 26 goals, 35 assists and 61 points in 82 games.

Zherdev was selected in the first round (fourth overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft and has produced 115 goals, 146 assists and 261 points in 421 NHL games with the Blue Jackets, New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers.

He made $2 million last season, when he produced 16 goals and 22 points in 56 games with the Flyers.

Atlant of the KHL is said to be another possible destination for Zherdev should he explore that route.


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