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Fedotov's contract with Flyers is ruled valid, but goalie's status still in doubt

The netminder did not play hockey last season because of required service to the Russian military

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The convoluted situation with Ivan Fedotov gained some clarity Monday.

But far from full clarity.

The IIHF ruled in favor of the Flyers, deeming the Russian goaltender's tolled NHL contract valid. However, it remains highly uncertain if Fedotov will be permitted or decide to leave his KHL club CSKA Moscow to play in North America this season.

Pursuant to the NHL CBA, the Flyers had Fedotov's one-year entry-level contract tolled in June, keeping it in effect for 2023-24. Per the IIHF, Fedotov violated the transfer regulations by signing a two-year deal with CSKA Moscow last month.

As a result, per the IIHF, Fedotov will face a four-month suspension on playing in official national and international games from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31. Meanwhile, CSKA Moscow will face a one-year ban on international transfers, effective immediately.

In a response to the IIHF's sanctions, CSKA Moscow stated on its official website that it "certainly does not agree with the announced decision and considers it biased." Further, CSKA Moscow stated it "has no doubts that Ivan will take part in the upcoming season."

Fedotov, 26, was drafted by the Flyers during the seventh round in 2015. He signed his one-year entry-level contract with the Flyers in May 2022 and they felt he would compete for the backup job last season. But Fedotov ended up never playing hockey in 2022-23 because of required service to the Russian military.

Prior to last year, the 6-foot-7, 205-pounder had developed into one of the top netminders in Russia. He was named a finalist for the 2021-22 KHL's Best Goalie Award after going 14-10-2 with a 2.00 goals-against average and .919 save percentage during the regular season. He led CSKA Moscow to a championship with 16 wins, a 1.85 goals-against average and .937 save percentage through 22 games.

He also represented Russia at the 2022 Beijing Olympics and won a silver medal as he went 4-2-0 with a 1.61 goals-against average and .943 save percentage.

Last week, the Flyers locked up Samuel Ersson with a two-year contract extension. They also signed Aleksei Kolosov to his ELC last month and grabbed a pair of goalies over the second and third rounds of the June entry draft.

The Flyers like the potential in what they have organizationally behind Carter Hart, who just turned 25 years old Sunday.

"It's pretty exciting what's going on and what's coming up," Flyers general manager Danny Briere said before the draft. "Not just with the Flyers, but the farm system, too. We have some good goalies coming up, guys that could turn out to be high end.

"I don't think in the past that has always been a strength of the Flyers, so it's exciting knowing that we have some prospects that could develop into really high-end goaltenders."

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