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Flyers Sign Matvei Michkov, Make Minor Moves as Free-Agency Begins

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Matvei Michkov, Philadelphia Flyers, named player of the game, with torch from Sochi Olympics (Photo from @hockeynewshub Twitter feed)

While the Nashville Predators signed three of the top available players (Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Marchessault and Brady Skjei) during the first day of free agency Monday, the cap-strapped Philadelphia Flyers made just minor moves — except for the signing of highly promising right winger Matvei Michkov.

Michkov, 19, signed a three-year entry-level deal that will have an annual cap hit of $950,000.

The Flyers hope he is every bit as good as the hype.

“I’m extremely happy to officially become a part of the Flyers’ family,” Michkov said in a statement released by the team. “Being in the NHL has been a dream of mine since childhood.”

He thanked the Flyers’ management for their “trust” in him, saying he will “do everything possible to meet the expectations.”

Briere seemed overwhelmed with joy. He said when the Flyers drafted Michkov in the first round last year, he never expected the creative winger to get out of his three-year KHL contract and join the Flyers so soon.

“He’s not going to the AHL, let’s put it that way,” Briere cracked.

Michkov was not among the players on the development-camp roster provided by the Flyers. The camp starts Tuesday in Voorhees and is free and open to the public.

Speedy center Jeff Luchanko, selected first by the Flyers in Friday’s draft, is among the prospects at camp.

In other developments, the Flyers signed bruising winger Garrett Hathaway, 32, to a two-year deal that has an annual cap hit of $2.4 million, starting in 2025-26.

“His style of play and level of professionalism had a big effect on our group last season,” Briere said, adding that Hathaway “embodies the standard our team set out to build both on and off the ice.”

The Philadelphia Flyers also signed defenseman Erik Johnson to a one-year, $1 million contract. In 17 games with the Flyers last season, he had three points and was minus-9.

Johnson, 36, will bring a veteran presence to the team’s young defense, said Briere, who was once Johnson’s teammate in Colorado.

As for potential trades, Briere said “we’re still trying,” but he conceded that “if it doesn’t happen in the next week, there’s a good chance that what you see is what will be at camp” in September.

With the irrepressible Michkov.

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