Ivan Fedotov signs two-year extension with Flyers

New York Islanders v Philadelphia Flyers
New York Islanders v Philadelphia Flyers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The Flyers officially have their goaltending tandem set for the 2024-25 season. Sam Ersson is entering the first year of a two-year, 2.775M extension he signed last summer. And now, Ivan Fedotov is on board for the next two years after signing a deal worth 6.5M. He will make 3.25M each season.

Fedotov's story is a wild one and one that has been covered extensively. He was first expected to join the Flyers for the 2022-23 season. Fedotov was coming off an impressive season with CSKA Moskva and for the Russian Olympic team. For CSKA, Fedotov helped lead them to the Gagarin Cup after posting a 1.85 GAA and a .937 SV% in 22 playoff games. That topped his 2.00 GAA and .919 SV% he posted in 26 regular season games. For Russia, he helped capture a silver medal with a 1.61 GAA and a .943 SV% in six games.

The Flyers signed him to an entry-level contract in May of 2022 as he was expected to jump to the NHL and join the team for training camp in September. Except, he wouldn't. Fedotov was detained by Russian authorities and charged with evading military service. He would be forced to spend the next season fulfilling his service requirements. Fedotov would not play hockey that entire season.

After serving for a year, Fedotov could again come to North America and start his NHL career. But, he signed a two-year deal with his former team in the KHL. The Flyers, understandably upset about the situation, didn't give up on trying to get him over. The IIHF would rule that Fedotov's contract with the Flyers was valid, and had been tolled due to his military service. Unexpectedly, the KHL did not care and kept Fedotov on their roster. They appealed the IIHF's decision, but would not have things ruled in their favor. That led to sanctions against both Fedotov and CSKA.

All in all, Fedotov appeared in 44 games for CSKA, posting a 2.37 GAA and a .914 SV%. It wasn't bad numbers, but there was rust from not having played hockey for a year. His playoff numbers weren't much better, as he sported a 2.57 GAA and a .916 SV% in five games. But it didn't look like Fedotov would be coming to the NHL. The way things played out, he was destined to remain in the KHL for his entire career.

And then, Fedotov's contract was terminated by CSKA and he was free to leave. And not soon after, he was in Voorhees and spoke to the media alongside Danny Briere. The interest was first spoken of regarding signing Fedotov to an extension. Days after that, he made his NHL debut in relief of Ersson. Fedotov made 19 saves on 21 shots against the New York Islanders. It was a strong debut and brought hope of what he could become.

Things did not go as smoothly in his final two games. In his first career start against the Buffalo Sabres, Fedotov gave up four goals on 19 shots. He then gave up four goals on 13 shots against the Montreal Canadiens. The adrenaline wore off and now Fedotov was learning a new league on the fly when the Flyers needed wins the most. He would not appear in the final three games as Philadelphia barely missed the playoffs.

Confidence in what Fedotov could do never waned, evidenced by the extension the Flyers have signed him to. Giving a goaltender with three career games 3.25M a season sounds like a lot. It may have been something the two sides agreed upon when Fedotov first came over. Or, the Flyers truly believe that once he settles into the NHL, his game will revert to what he showed in the KHL.

The Flyers have their tandem ready to go. Let's hope it works out for them.