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Matvei Michkov Snubbed for Russian National Team; New Club Soon?

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(Photo: SKA St. Petersburg)

The Philadelphia Flyers won’t be happy to see that their No. 1 prospect, Matvei Michkov, has been left off the Russian National Team for the upcoming Liga Stavok Big National Team Tour by head coach Roman Rotenberg.

Rotenberg, if you remember, is the head coach of SKA St. Petersburg, Michkov’s parent club in the KHL, as well as the vice president of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation.

Flyers prospect Egor Zavragin, rumored to be joining SKA, made the cut for Rotenberg. Michkov, however, was left off completely in favor of other SKA forwards, such as Zakhar Bardakov, Arseni Gritsyuk, and Dmitry Buchelnikov, as well as one of Rotenberg’s lackeys – former Flyers prospect Mikhail Vorobyov.

The Flyers actually traded Vorobyov’s signing rights to the Vegas Golden Knights as part of a retained salary trade that sent Noah Hanifin to Paradise.

If Rotenberg is still beefing with Michkov and holding him out of his squads, the Flyers could be watching Michkov play with another lower-tier KHL club for the 2024-25 season. Moreover, if Michkov grows frustrated with his time playing in Russia, he would have the option to buy out his own contract to become a free agent. From there, Michkov could join the Flyers if that is the path he chooses to go down.

The Flyers are quickly gaining experience in dealing with these kinds of matters, successfully bringing over goaltenders Ivan Fedotov and Alexei Kolosov under dubious circumstances. Flyers general manager Danny Briere still hasn’t provided a timeline of events that details the arrival of either player.

Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Evgeni Malkin also spoke on the record empathizing with Fedotov, noting that every player has their own experiences, drawing back on his own from when he was trying to go to North America to play. The Russian passport situation is not going to make things any easier on the Flyers, Michkov, or any other NHL team and Russian prospect.

Michkov appears to be fully healthy, so it is unclear why Rotenberg left him out aside from personal agenda. At the time of this writing, the 19-year-old is still expected to rejoin SKA for the start of the 2024-25 season.

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