Batten Down The Hatches The Russians Are Coming

After his arrest for dogging military service, the Flyers are now expecting goalie Ivan Fedotov to join the Flyers this season. This would be the second Russian Goalie to join the Flyers organization in the last 24 hours. Fedotov who finished his mandatory one year of Russian military service after his arrest played in the KHL this season.

The Flyers drafted Fedotov in the seventh round in 2015. He signed a one-year entry-level deal with the club on May 7, 2022, but his NHL contract won’t begin until he joins the Flyers. So, Fedotov has a valid deal with Philadelphia and would be eligible to play this season, after which he would become a free agent.

Fedotov was prepared to come to the Flyers when he initially signed his contract, but he was then arrested and forced into military service with Russia and was reportedly sent to Severomorsk, in the northern part of the country, near its border with Finland.

There’s high sensitivity here, given visa issues, the challenges getting a player out of Russia, and the history with this case, which makes a formal announcement by the Flyers on Thursday unlikely, although it could be made in the coming days as the Flyers seek to clarify details with the league.

Fedotov

Fedotov spent this season with CSKA Moscow in the KHL, defying the IIHF, which ruled that his NHL contract with the Flyers was valid. In 44 regular-season games, he was 21-22-1 with a 2.37 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage. His team was recently eliminated from the playoffs, and then the team announced on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Thursday morning that his two-year contract, which had one year remaining, had been terminated. Fedotov is eager to begin his NHL career, a league source said.

In 2021-22, Fedotov led CSKA Moscow to the Gagarin Cup championship, posting a 14-10-2 record with a 2.00 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in 26 regular season games. He also played in the 2022 Beijing Olympics, helping the Russian team to a silver medal.

The Flyers could potentially use the 27-year-old goalie right away, as the quality of play from their backups behind No. 1 Samuel Ersson — and since Carter Hart’s departure in late January — has been subpar.

Fedotov and Kolosov could join the Flyers in some capacity for the rest of the season. The hurdles known in Fedotov’s case is shelving him and not rostering him anywhere in the organization. The Flyers would have a full year of his current contract in 2024-25 versus a few months in 2023-24 before he would be a UFA this July.

 Kolosov’s contract is ticking as we speak but he will still be under his current deal until the end of the 2025-26 season. After which he will be an RFA. Then there are the rostering restrictions the Flyers are now under due to the massive injuries sustained by their D Corp. The Flyers have used all their 4 call-ups post-trade deadline already.

What Does This All Mean

The only way that a player can be moved is by either assigning them directly to the Flyers or assigning them to the minor leagues. If the Flyers assign either of them to the latter then the only way they can be called up is for an emergency. But wait there is more due to the Carter Hart situation the NHL provided the Flyers with cap relief, and an emergency designation for the goalie that would replace Hart.

That emergency goalie was initially Cal Peterson but after he flamed out the other option became Sandstrom. So, there is a pathway for another emergency call-up goalie for the Flyers. You can’t make this stuff up.      

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Matt Bednarczyk
Matt Bednarczyk

Matt Bednarczyk is your host of Talking Philly Sports With Matty B. He is a proud retired US Army Sergeant First Class, he is also a combat veteran with over 80 months served in Afganistan, and Iraq . Huge Hockey Fan. Matt is a lifelong 4 for 4 Philly sports fan. Born and raised on the Mayfair and Tacony neighborhood lines of Northeast Philly. He brings over 40 years of Philadelphia Sports passion and provides a realistic look at our Major Sports Teams and the most passionate sports fans on the planet. Look for his show live on Edge of Philly Sports.

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