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Russia potentially able to keep Michkov longer than expected


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Travis Politakis
December 26, 2023  (10:00)
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Photo credit: The Hockey Writers

All summer long and into the winter Philadelphia Flyers fans have been dreaming of their 2023 top pick Matvei Michkov skating around in the orange and black. Michkov is off to a historic start in the KHL and the Flyers are sitting pretty in the Metro Division standings and it seems like all is right in the world. However, Russian agent Shumi Babaev made an announcement that could be unsettling to Flyers fans and general manager Danny Briere.

"We have an order from the President, according to which young players should stay in Russia."

In recent months the Russian Ice Hockey Federation has been working to determine the longevitity in which teenagers and other NHL prospects would have to stay in Russia. Originally, it was said that Michkov would be able to join the Flyers around 2025-2026.
Now it's looking like Michkov might be stuck in Russia until 2027 or later. With the political climate always changing in both countries, USA and Russia, anything could change between now and then. But if things aren't resolved, this would be absolutely devastating to the Flyers rebuilding process.
Not only are the Flyers counting on these guys to be the future of the team, but the 2026 offseason was one where the Flyers could make a legitimate splash in free agency with guys like Connor McDavid available. With this recent announcement, the Flyers rebuild is potentially turned upside down.
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