Doug MacLean hired private investigator to spy on Nikolai Zherdev

Norway's Patrick Thoresen (R) and Per-Age Skroder (C) fight for the puck with Russia's Nikolai Zherdev during a Quarter-finals match at the Ice Hockey World Championships in Stockholm on May 17, 2012. Russia won 5-2. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRANDJONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/GettyImages (AFP/Getty Images)

Nikolai Zherdev, you were a sketchy man when you were with Columbus. Who knows what you did off the ice. It was important management had some sort of inkling onto what you did in your private time.

So of course, then Blue Jackets general manager Doug MacLean hired a private investigator. As far as we know, his name was not Thomas Magnum.

Said MacLean via Sportsnet when talking about the Nazem Kadri suspension:

“I had a situation with [Nikolai] Zherdev [in Columbus] where I had to hire a private investigator to follow him for a week and come back to me with a written report as to what was really going on with this guy,” the former Blue Jackets general manager told Dean Blundell & Co. Thursday on Sportsnet 590 The Fan. “Then I got [the report] and I dealt with Zherdev and, yeah, he sat out some games, but nobody had a clue that it was going on. Nobody.”

We know MacLean’s methods could be a little bizarre at times, but that’s umm … creepy. Why Zherdev? Was it because he was an ‘enigmatic’ type hockey player or insert other xenophobic type reference here. Who knows. Zherdev was the fourth overall pick in 2003 in what turned into the most loaded of all loaded drafts.

As a manager of course you want to know why the player isn’t performing up to snuff. After all, the winger did turn into somewhat of a bust, notching just 181 points in 283 games with Columbus. Also, it’s not like Zherdev was a saint either.

But yeah, wow. There’s a KGB joke somewhere in here.

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!