In February, Ivan Fedotov won Olympic silver with the Russian national ice hockey team. For the new season he wanted to switch to the NHL team Philadelphia Flyers. But now the Russian army has arrested him.
Extremely successful months lie behind ice hockey goalkeeper Ivan Fedotov. In February he won the silver medal at the Olympic Games in Beijing as the number 1 goalkeeper for the Russian team. He then won the championship in the professional league KHL with his team CSKA Moscow and was honored as the best goalkeeper. Finally, in May, the 25-year-old signed a contract with the Philadelphia Flyers for the coming season in the North American NHL.
But there will probably not be a change to the best ice hockey league in the world for the time being. Fedotov was arrested by the Russian military in Saint Petersburg on Friday. Local media reports that the goalkeeper was stopped leaving the training hall and driven by car to a draft station. It is said that Fedotov later fell ill there, so that he had to be taken to the hospital. A photo of him in the ambulance has been circulating online.
Escape from military service?
The Finnish-born ice hockey star’s planned move to the United States could be interpreted as an escape from military service, reports the Russian news site Fontanka. This can be punished with up to two years in prison. Fedotov’s previous team CSKA Moscow is the former Red Army army sports club that regularly won the Soviet championship in the 50s-80s and featured the best players in the country. CSKA players are still considered members of the military today, writes the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers, where Fedotov is scheduled to play for the new season starting in September, said in a statement that the reports are being followed and the situation is being investigated. He couldn’t say more at the moment.
In the North American professional league NHL, the best Russian ice hockey players have been playing for well-endowed contracts worth millions for years. Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals is one of the greatest players of all time. Superstars Nikita Kucherov and Andrej Vasilevski were on the ice for the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup finals last week. Whether all Russian players who are traveling home during the current summer break will return to their teams in the USA and Canada in autumn seems questionable at the moment.
Quellen: New York Times / Philadelphia Inquirer / Fontanka