The Philadelphia Flyers Are Elite At Foreign Relations, Are About To Bring Matvei Michkov Over From Russia Next Season

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Luck rarely ever seems to be on the Flyers' side as far as the NHL Draft goes. The ping pong balls going the wrong way in 2007 and ending up with the 2nd overall pick in 2007 instead of Patrick Kane. Taking Nolan Patrick over Cale Makar and Miro Heiskenen. Cutter Gauthier refusing to sign in Philly because he go his poor little feelings hurt. Nobody knowing what ever happened to Jay O'Brien. The list goes on and on. 

But something within this organization shifted the moment that Daniel Briere and Keith Jones took over. The moment that Dave Scott was removed as the CEO & Chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, and the job title was given to Dan Hilferty. The curse that has been plaguing this franchise since the death of Ed Snider appears to be lifted. And with the thickest stroke of luck ever, Matvei Michkov fell to the Flyers with the 7th overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. 

For years leading up to the draft, there was a strong debate on whether you take Bedard or Michkov #1 overall in that draft class. They were neck and neck for the longest time. But then Russia invaded Ukraine, and politics stepped in to obliterate Michkov's draft stock. Russia couldn't play in international tournaments, it's hard for scouts to get any info on Russian prospects in general, and Michkov had signed a contract in the KHL that kept him in Russia through the 2025-26 season. Teams didn't want to wait 3 full seasons before seeing if they could bring Michkov over to North America after his contract in the KHL was up. 

The good news is that I am smarter than the 5 other teams that passed on drafting Michkov after Bedard, and knew there was never a chance of Michkov staying in Russia any longer than he had to. 

But what I didn't realize was how quickly the Flyers were going to work to get him out of his KHL contract. I mean the Flyers had just recently gotten goalie prospect Ivan Fedotov arrested and forced to enlist for Russian military duty after trying to break out of his KHL contract a year prior to drafting Michkov. Combine that with the fact that the Flyers mercilessly bullied the Soviet Red Army team off of the ice back in the 70s, and this organization doesn't have the greatest track record with Russian relations. 

Things are different now for the Flyers, though. Things actually seem to work out for them now. And instead of having to wait until the summer of 2026 to potentially see if Michkov is coming over to North America, it looks like we're on the way to that happening before next season. 


It's a report from just one Russian source right now, so it's hard to believe it 100%. But Russian media isn't typically in the business of just making up stories about players leaving for North America. If anything, it would be the other way around. So the fact that this news/rumor is floating around out there has to be a good sign for the Flyers. 


Obviously it's not as simple as just signing a college player to his entry level contract. It's not like Matvei Michkov can just tell SKA he's not coming back next year and thanks for the memories. The biggest hold up seems to be about money, which is usually the case with everything in life. SKA would need to be compensated for terminating Michkov's contract, but the Flyers can't just hit them with a direct deposit. The money needs to come from Michkov, so I guess some funds need to get moved around to some different accounts in order for that to happen. That might take a few days, so we might not have anything confirmed for a little while here. But Comcast-Spectacor currently has plans of a $2.5 billion renovation for the Sports Complex in South Philly. They're going to want to give Flyers fans a reason to come pack out the arena every night. A player like Matvei Michkov does exactly that. 

The Flyers went from getting a Russian player arrested for trying to come to Philadelphia, to now getting a Russian superstar out of his KHL contract 2 years early. Whatever the case may be, that is an all-time come up in foreign relations. Danny B and Keith Jones could end wars all around the world if you need them to.