More than a year ago, Ivan Fedotov signed an entry-level contract with the Philadelphia Flyers. He had an outstanding 2021-2022 season with CSKA Moskva, leading them to hoist the Gagarin Cup due to his incredible performance between the posts. Additionally, he helped Russia win the silver medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
He spent his entire hockey career in Russia, preparing to come to North America. Fedotov would’ve competed for a roster spot in the NHL with the Flyers.
Missing all of 2022-2023 doesn’t help Fedotov. His NHL contract with the Flyers tolled 2023-2024, meaning he can fulfill his contract next season. Fedotov has to make a career-altering decision. Soon, he’ll have to choose between the KHL and NHL.
CSKA Moskva broke the good faith between the KHL and NHL in a climate where a memorandum of understanding doesn’t exist. On July 8th, 2023, CSKA Moskva signed Fedotov to a two-year extension through 2024-2025. It breached the contract Fedotov agreed to with the Flyers in May 2022, which was tolled due to the inability to fulfill the agreement. The IIHF had to intervene. Yesterday, the IIHF announced the contract Fedotov agreed to with the Flyers is valid.
Sanctions, dealt from the IIHF to Fedotov and CSKA Moskva, were announced along with the ruling. Fedotov received a suspension from national and international play until 2024, and CSKA Moskva received a one-year ban on international transfers due to their awareness of the contract situation. For Fedotov, the suspension does not include the NHL; he could play his first complete hockey season since 2021-2022.
2023-2024 NHL Fulfillment
Per the IIHF verdict, Fedotov cannot return to the KHL until 2024. Before then, it is paramount that the Flyers figure out what they’ll do with him.
Fedotov can participate in the NHL when the Flyers Training Camp begins. Coaches would assess his translation to the NHL. For Fedotov, it would be the best choice to optimize his time.
By January 2024, if Fedotov and the Flyers are still in limbo, it would be a season and a half of missed opportunities on the ice, to which patience could wear thin.
At the end of 2023-2024, Fedotov will become an unrestricted free agent. He could fulfill his contract with the Flyers, then choose to remain with Philadelphia or sign with a different NHL team. An alternate route shows an avenue where Fedotov could choose the KHL in January 2024, leaving Daniel Briere with a tough decision to cut ties, which could become a butterfly effect of how hockey negotiations work between the NHL and KHL in the current climate. These nuances are uncertain but available before the midway point of next season.
Once it became apparent that the Flyers wouldn’t have Fedotov last season, Sam Ersson contested for the backup goaltender role. Ersson succeeded, cracking the 2022-2023 opening night roster.
Now, Cal Petersen crowds the room. He’ll compete to back up Hart but must overcome Ersson. A season ago, Petersen reflected numbers that deserve another stint in the AHL.
In Philadelphia, Fedotov could push to compete in the NHL. More importantly, he could return to hockey. Fedotov, 26, is at an age when a goaltender would typically be in their prime. He’ll have a season to act on his decisions, and if Fedotov chooses to commit to the NHL path, the Flyers will happily accommodate.
(AP Photo/Petr David Josek, File)