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No Matvei Michkov news from Flyers, whose expectations remain the same

The Flyers' top prospect has two more years left on his contract with the KHL's SKA St. Petersburg


Dan Hilferty will often remind you that he's not just the head of ownership for the Flyers.

He is also a fan.

He was a fan before he became the Flyers' governor and chairman and CEO of Comcast Spectacor. And he won't lose the fan inside of him because that's what drives his passion for his role, it's how he connects with the fan base.

Since the end of April, Flyers fans have been gaga over top prospect Matvei Michkov and the possibility of his early arrival.

As a fan, does Hilferty ever bug his president of hockey operations for a Michkov update?

"Three times a day," he said Wednesday with a laugh, looking at Keith Jones seated to his left. "No, I say that in jest."

"I don't answer his calls," Jones joked.

Hilferty wouldn't be the only one hoping for an answer on Michkov's status. The Flyers likely have at least a little more clarity than the public does on the landscape between Michkov and his KHL club SKA St. Petersburg in Russia. But the Flyers very much have to operate in wait-and-see mode, just like their fans.

Jones admitted the outside buzz around Michkov doesn't alter the Flyers' plan internally.

"It really doesn't affect it because when we drafted him, the expectation was he would finish his contract with SKA," he said at an offseason press conference alongside Hilferty. "So we are listening, we are reading many of your articles and kind of following along. But we have no update on it."

More: Hilferty 'thrilled' with Flyers' direction, Jones opens up on rebuild timeline

Michkov, a talented forward who the Flyers drafted at seventh overall last summer, has two more years left on his three-year KHL contract. If that deal is fulfilled, Michkov won't be a Flyer until 2026-27.

Last month, Russian media outlet Sport-Express reported that Michkov's contract with SKA St. Petersburg would be terminated so that the 19-year-old could "continue his career in Philadelphia." This came about three weeks after the club's chairman Alexander Medvedev told Russian media outlet Match TV that it would "talk about all the options" with Michkov.

The Flyers, though, have to be careful to not overstep any boundaries in their comments or interfere with Michkov's camp and his KHL club.

"Look, I'm a fan, the way I look at it, he's still a young individual," Hilferty said. "As much fun as it would be, as good as it would be from creating that environment, getting fans excited, yeah, I hope it happens.

"But we knew he's under a three-year contract. I can't be just a fan about this. I totally understand that it's a situation where we have zero control over it and we'll continue to watch him regardless of where he plays. At some point, at some point, it'll be a great thing for the Philadelphia Flyers."

In the Flyers' eyes, if Michkov arrives next season, great. If he arrives in 2026-27, that was the plan all along.

"We would welcome him with open arms, we absolutely love what he is going to bring to the Flyers," Jones said. "If that timeline is sped up, that would be wonderful. But we don't know. We'll watch along closely like you guys are, as well. When he arrives, our fan base is going to be pretty excited about getting a highly talented player that is different than what we have right now. I think our fans are looking forward to that, for sure."

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