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Former NHL Star: Flyers Threw Ivan Fedotov Into ‘Hell’

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After a decent start to his Philadelphia Flyers tenure, Ivan Fedotov was thrown into "hell". (Photo: AP)

Game recognize game; goalie recognize goalie. Former NHL goalie Evgeni Nabokov, a two-time NHL All-Star across 14 NHL seasons, feels that the Philadelphia Flyers threw Russian newcomer Ivan Fedotov into “hell” during his brief first season in Philadelphia.

Fedotov, 27, played in three games for the Flyers this season, allowing 10 goals during the team’s soul-crushing eight-game losing streak that cost them a place in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Nabokov, who knows the NHL and the goaltending position as well as anybody, recognizes how difficult of a position the Flyers put Fedotov in.

“It was very difficult for Ivan. He was directly thrown into hell when he first arrived at the NHL and immediately began playing for Philadelphia,” Nabokov told MatchTV. “It’s hard for me to discuss his game, especially since he spent three whole matches. He just needs to practice, get used to the league and the team.

“For three incomplete matches, I would definitely not judge.”

Fedotov signed a two-year contract extension with the Flyers on Tuesday, and many fans took to social media to lament the $3.5 AAV given to him by Danny Briere despite having so little NHL experience and productivity. The hulking Russian goalie was, however, one of the KHL’s most accomplished goalies during his time there.

Before sitting out the entirety of the 2022-23 season to complete his military service, Fedotov was a Gagarin Cup Champion, a KHL First-Team All-Star, and named KHL Best Goaltender for CSKA Moscow all in the same year back in 2021-22. The 27-year-old has won at every level he’s played at, and now it’s time for Fedotov to turn the page and begin writing his successful NHL chapter.

Nabokov’s comments reflect the Flyers’ belief and confidence in Fedotov, indicated by the healthy contract bestowed upon him last week. If Nabokov and Briere, two former players with years and years of NHL experience, believe Fedotov has another gear, it’s not a coincidence.

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