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Matvei Michkov Could Join Flyers as Early as June



Matvei Michkov

It appears that there is a genuine possibility that star prospect Matvei Michkov joins the Philadelphia Flyers this summer, far earlier than originally anticipated.

Michkov, 19, is under contract with KHL club SKA St. Petersburg for two more seasons, tying him down in Russia until 2026.

SKA chairman Alexander Medvedev, however, declined to rule out the possibility that Michkov would join the Flyers earlier than that. And that includes this summer.

“I think it’s better to leave like Ovechkin or Panarin. When you have already established yourself in Russia, and you are not going to North America to travel between the NHL and the AHL,” Medvedev told MatchTV in an interview. “We must not forget that Matvei survived a terrible tragedy, losing his father, who was also a mentor to him, being around all the time. It’s hard to play psychologically, be it Sochi or Moscow, where everything reminds him of this loss. Maybe a change of scenery will make it easier to adapt.”

Medvedev is well aware that the Flyers are ready and willing to bring Michkov in right away. If Michkov doesn’t stick at the NHL level, though, he would have to return to Russia.

“Unlike the situation with Ivan Fedotov, we are in contact with Philadelphia. The Flyers management does not even hide its desire for Matvei to come to them and try his hand at the NHL,” Medvedev continued. “But if you go earlier, you need to have a provision in the contract, which if Philadelphia has the temptation to send him to the AHL, he will have the right to return [to the KHL].”

And then there’s the kicker. There is a nonzero chance that Michkov could indeed join the Flyers as soon as June. 

“We understand that Matvei is a great talent. It’s not even anything to discuss. I think we will talk about all the options, first of all, with ourselves. And we will also talk with the leaders of Philadelphia, with whom we have a very good relationship,” Medvedev said. “There is understanding, and you will be patient. I think that the decision on Michkov will be no later than the end of June.”

Flyers general manager Danny Briere said at his exit interview that, as far as he knew, nothing had changed regarding Michkov’s timeline and potential arrival in North America. Now, however, it is clear that an opportunity is there to be had.

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