According to media reports, Russia's ice hockey goalie Ivan Fedotov was arrested in St. Petersburg. The Beijing 2022 Olympic bronze medalist is said to have been denied military service. A move to the NHL could apparently be interpreted as an escape. He now faces a prison sentence.
Great excitement in Russian ice hockey: star goalie Ivan Fedotov from CSKA Moscow was apparently arrested by the military in his home country. Russian media reports that the goalkeeper was stopped leaving a training hall and eventually taken to a draft station. That should have happened on Friday. Fedotov later fell ill and had to be taken to a hospital. A picture of the 25-year-old in an ambulance is circulating on social networks.
However, other sources say the arrest is related to the upcoming move to the NHL. The keeper was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2015, but continued to play in his home country. In the coming NHL season, he should switch to the best league in the world and go on the ice for Philadelphia. He signed his contract with the Flyers in early May. The 25-year-old could possibly be interpreted as an escape from service in the army, according to the Russian news site Fontanka. If that happens, Fedotov could face up to two years in prison.
Relations between the NHL and the Russian league KHL have been strained since the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. The NHL has prohibited communication with officials, players and agents. Fedotov was named the best goalkeeper last KHL season. He is one of the big stars and the great hope of Russian ice hockey. The Sbornaja (the national team) is actually a kind of "sacred cow" in the country. President Vladimir Putin is an ardent fan of the sport and plays regularly himself.
Fedotow had experienced an extremely successful time in the past few months. With the national team he had won the silver medal at the Olympic Games in Beijing. In the final, the Sbornaja lost to Finland. Fedotov was the regular goalie. He had also won the championship with his club CSKA. The Flyers' general manager, Chuck Fletcher, said they had taken note of the reports and were now investigating the situation.