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“Disgustingly good.” Why Russian star Zherdev still can’t be forgotten in the NHL

Date: February 28, 2024 Time: 18:35:27

The career of Nikolai Zherdev, once one of the brightest Russian stars, has long been going downhill, approaching its completion. However, despite the fact that the hockey player left the NHL more than 10 years ago, his old teammates do not forget him. The other day, former Columbus hockey player Mike Rupp, now an NHL Network analyst, hit up the Nasty Knuckles Podcast with former NHLers Riley Kote and Derek “Nasty” Settlemyer and had some entertaining stories about Zherdev, who he crossed paths with. . with the Blue Jackets» in the 2005/2006 season. Yes, and Nasty himself could not resist and also talked about Nikolai, with whom he played the 2010/2011 season in Philadelphia.

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rap: I played in Columbus for a season and I have stories about Zherdev. We see how talented the league is now and what kind of golden hands the guys have, what Trevor Zegras is doing… Nick Zherdev did this in 2005. This guy had the most dangerous hands I’ve ever seen on a hockey player. He was so talented! Another thing is that in other things he was not so …

We played together in Columbus. We were just horrible, blasphemous. In those years, we had Rick Nash, we had Nick Zherdev, our team was based on them. Columbus traded Todd Marchand to Anaheim for Sergei Fedorov [желание] Zherdev whispered. There was no other use in negotiating with the feds, right? They killed us.

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I remember that I was always close to the physical trainers of the teams I played for because I was bad at skating and I didn’t like cycling. I think at the time our trainer was called Barry Brennan, and he almost made us a bulletin board: everyone had their own training. Barry gave private lessons for me, Zherdev, Nash and others. Each one had his own: you had to come to train on the appointed days and take care of your business. But Nick didn’t come, he didn’t train.

Nick had his own translator Sergey. Sergei entered the locker room and the physical trainer called him. He was. And at that moment, our general manager Doug McLean and head coach Gerard Gallan were standing in the locker room. They called Sergei and Nick together, and Brennan started talking to the interpreter: “Hey, Nick hasn’t been training all this time. But he has to do it.” This is what he expects to hear from the coaches. “We will start fining him if he doesn’t show up [на тренировке]. He has to train. ” The interpreter turned to Nick, handed it to him in Russian, and they left.

The next day, when I was training, they came in. Zherdev turned to the interpreter and began to show him, they say, come on, tell them. He called the physical trainer, Sergei seemed very worried. He didn’t want to tell them that. And Nick repeated: tell me, tell me. And he just handed me a beautiful envelope. The coach asked what it was and opened the envelope. The translator began, “Nick said, uh, this is a check for the next 30 days.” Nick was told he would be fined $100 for every day he missed practice, so he gave them a check for $3,000 for the next 30 days.

“Damn what a funny guy he is”

Settlemyer: It is funny. Last night I called Richie, Mike Richards. He said Zherdev is the most talented guy he’s ever played with. And he said that Nick is very handy, but he’s funny.

Nikolai Zherdev


When Gerd was here, he would go to New York almost every day, if we weren’t away, because he had friends living there. But it’s funny that his wife definitely went to New York every day, because they had a driver who drove Zherdev. By the way, she also took us, if the guys went out somewhere, she always helped us. Anyway, every few weeks Nick would come in angry and throw a bag on my desk. I asked: “What is it?” And there were super expensive t-shirts and stuff. Nick replied, “My wife bought these, they’re not my size.” And I was like, “How come she still doesn’t know your fucking measurements, man?” Five bags of stuff, man!” But damn, what a funny guy he is.

“You can’t just order a bunch of things and walk out!”

rap: He was a good guy. It was just that he was against the authorities. He was fine. One time we were in Vancouver with the team, chilling, drinking at the bar. Finally, Nick showed up with a group of Russians. This is good. The team was here, everyone was drinking, and so was Nick and the Russians. At some point he left and the bartender came up to us and asked, “Do you know that guy who was here recently?” I don’t know what language they spoke, maybe Russian. I said I know. And he said, “he Ordered all those drinks, all those drinks with his friends, and then he just left.” Hope for? “Yeah, he just walked out and didn’t pay the bill.” We’re like, “Okay, we’ll pay the bill.”

The next day, we went up to Zherdev and said, “Hey, Nick, you can’t order a bunch of stuff and walk out! The team had to pay, I paid from my wallet! You know, everyone pays for their drink.” And he’s just like, “Okay, okay.”

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One more thing about him. When we talked, she kept asking, “Where are we going? Where are we going to have dinner?!” He could communicate and interact with others. But when coach Gallan said, “Nick, you’ve got to put the puck in the zone,” he pretended not to understand.

Nikolai Zherdev

Photo: RIA Novosti

Settlemyer: The more he drank, the better he spoke English. That’s what I understood (laughs).

“Zherdev is disgustingly good, he just doesn’t give a damn”

rap: This guy always made us laugh. The last story I’m going to tell. We played in Chicago. He was sitting at the door of the bench, the last one, in the dividing glass, behind which were the rivals. Gallan put Zherdev on the bench because he took losses. Gerard said, “Sit down, you’ve played enough.” He sat next to me, I remember, his feet didn’t even touch the ground, they just dangled in the air. Do you remember Zherdev? A powerful jaw, poor posture. Usually, he sits next to him, staggering, as if he’s been hit. And now the opponent has a delayed elimination (in fact, Colon was losing, so he eliminated the goalkeeper. – Approx. “Championship”), Gallan yells at Nick: “Zi, zi, go!” And Zherdev looks dejectedly at the scoreboard, bites into his cap with his powerful jaw, shakes his legs and sits with a vacant look, as if he now he is on another planet. I grabbed his shirt and yelled, “Ze, go!”

I pushed him and threw him overboard. He came out on the ice and went to our gates. It seemed that Nick was assessing the situation for just a second. And then he received the transmission and did something that no one expected. Guys, I’ll send you a video when we’re done. It was like a spy, it was the game of the year. He danced past four Blackhawks players.


One of the best goals I’ve seen in my life. 10 seconds ago this guy wasn’t here, he was on another planet! Zherdev is terribly good, disgustingly good, and he just doesn’t care.

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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