Flyers goaltender suspended from international play for three years

    The International Ice Hockey Federation has levied sanctions against Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ivan Fedotov, KHL club CSKA Moskva and the Russian Ice Hockey Federation for disregarding Fedotov’s 2022 entry-level contract, per Jonathan Bailey of Philadelphia Hockey Now

    Fedotov signed the deal in May 2022, attempting to join the Flyers ahead of the 2022-23 season. But he was detained by Russian authorities when trying to leave the country and forced to serve one calendar year of military service. The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz reported that this service came on an aircraft carrier in the Murmansk region, far from the front lines.

    He went on to sign a two-year KHL contract with CSKA this season, warranting the sanctions. The official punishments, per an IIHF statement, are as follows:

    • Fedotov is suspended from playing in any IIHF competitions, including the Olympic Games, for the next three years.
    • Fedotov will receive a six-month suspension from playing at the club level should he leave the Flyers to play for an international club.
    • CSKA will be banned from making international transfers for two years, beginning on August 11, 2024 and ending on August 10, 2026.
    • The Russian Ice Hockey Federation has been assessed a fine of one million Swiss Francs.

    In search of any silver lining, Fedotov can at least be happy with his closing performance in Russia. He recorded 21 wins and a .914 save percentage across 44 games, adding a .916 in five postseason appearances. 

    CSKA terminated his deal following the end of the season, allowing him to move to Philadelphia one year early. Fedotov made that move just before the end of the Flyers season, slotting into the first three NHL games of his career and saving 43 of the 53 shots he faced.

    Fedotov stamped his spot in Russian hockey during the 2021-22 season, leading CSKA to the Gagarin Cup and Team Russia to a Silver Medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics. He posted dazzling stats throughout, setting a .919 save percentage in 26 KHL games and a .943 in six Olympic appearances. 

    While a future Russian Olympics roster would likely turn towards NHL stars Andrei Vasilevskiy or Igor Shesterkin, Fedotov would undoubtedly be on the shortlist of final options.

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