Russia has detained a Philadelphia Flyers goalie prospect for allegedly evading military services. Ivan Fedotov, who signed an entry-level contract with the Flyers on May 7, was detained in St. Petersburg.
He led CSKA Moscow to the Gagarin Cup last season and the Russian Olympic Committee to a silver medal at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
CSKA Moscow's Members Are Considered Military Personnel
But the interesting is that Russia owns CSKA Moscow, which was previously affiliated with the Soviet Army and known as the Red Army Team, and considers its members as military personnel.
According to Russian news outlet Fontanka, the St. Petersburg headquarters received a request from the military prosecutor's office. They believe that there are enough grounds to "consider Fedotov an army evader." Thus, under article 328 of the Criminal Code, he could face up to 2 years in prison. The logic of the military prosecutor's office is clear: Fedotov stands for the CSKA hockey club and is formally a military man.
Fedotov Is Officially Considered Military Personnel
His detention came as it's believed that he could have recently informed his club leaders and coaches that he was going to leave the country and the team.
After the detention of Fedotov, Flyers has stated that they are investigating the situation. Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher stated "We're aware of the reports and are investigating the situation. We have no further comment at this time."
Flyers previously believed that for the 2022-23 season, Fedotov will come over to North America to compete for an NHL role alongside Carter Hart.
The speculation is that Fedotov's termination of his contract with CSKA could be construed as a violation of Russia's Criminal Code because he is officially considered military personnel. CSKA's motivation would seem to be to hold on to its top goaltender for next season and maybe beyond, according to Philadelphia Inquirer.