TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger is reporting that the Philadelphia Flyers and the NHL have submitted to the International Ice Hockey Federation that goaltender Ivan Fedotov’s contract with the Flyers should be tolled since he missed this past season to complete military service in Russia. The Flyers along with the league are arguing that because he missed the entire season, the original one-year contract he signed in May 2022 should not be considered expired until next July, since he never fulfilled the agreement. The IIHF is presently considering the submission. The word tolled is a legal term written into many sports contracts that allows for the pausing or delaying of the running of the period of time set forth by a contract.
It’s been quite the saga for the 26-year-old netminder that began over a year ago. Fedotov was arrested in Russia two months after signing his contract with the Flyers. He served a year of military service and on June 14th of this year, the Flyers announced that the one-year deal would be applied this upcoming season and they would retain his NHL rights. Shortly after that in early July, the KHL announced a two-year deal for the netminder with CSKA that was recognized by the league because they believed that Fedotov did not have a valid and binding contract with an NHL club for next year.
While Fedotov is stuck between two leagues wondering what his future will be, CAA Sports’ JP Barry issued a statement today saying that he had spoken with Fedotov and that the young netminder would abide by the IIHF’s ruling that will decide which of the two contracts is valid. It’s an unusual and difficult situation for a player that has said that he just wants to get back to playing hockey. Fedotov has stated publicly that he was able to play hockey twice a week during his military service, but that the hockey in the army wasn’t very good. Fedotov has also defended his decision to sign was CSKA saying that they are a top club and would give him an opportunity to return to form before fulfilling his dream of playing in the NHL.
From the Flyers’ perspective, they would obviously welcome the addition of Fedotov to their goaltending depth chart. The club made Fedotov their seventh-round pick back in 2015, and while it has been almost a decade since they drafted him, they’d seen enough from him to warrant an entry-level contract last year. Now, the Flyers and the league are in a battle that could set a precedent going forward since the KHL and NHL don’t currently have any kind of Memorandum of Understanding. The two leagues did have such an agreement up until last year which kept teams from poaching signed players out of the other league, however, the NHL suspended the agreement.