Matvei Michkov’s timeline to the Flyers could reportedly get shorter

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The timeline for Matvei Michkov has been dictated by his current contract in the KHL. SKA St. Petersburg has the Russian forward under contract through the 2025-26 season. However, a recent report has thrown out the suggestion that he could join Philadelphia ahead of schedule. 

Alexander Medvedev, Chairman of SKA, floated the idea in an interview with Russian media outlet Match TV. Medvedev discussed the relationship the Flyers have with Michkov’s team and their unwillingness to interfere with his current contract. 

However, the organization has made it more than clear that they want Michkov in the NHL as soon as possible. If that were to happen before his current contract is up, there would have to be a guarantee that he would be returned to the KHL if he doesn’t make the Flyers roster. It is well known that the KHL wants their players to be fully established in the league before heading to North America.

Medvedev admitted it is too early to have these discussions as Michkov is legally under contract with SKA. But a decision could come in the next few months on the next steps.

“We understand that Matvey is a great talent. There's not even anything to discuss. I think we'll talk about all the options, first of all, with him. And we'll also talk to the leaders of Philadelphia, with whom we have a very good relationship. There is understanding, and you are patient. I think that the decision on Michkov will be no later than the end of June.”

It would be a disservice if Michkov’s potentially fractured relationship with SKA head coach Roman Rotenberg wasn’t mentioned. He often gave Michkov limited ice time or made him a healthy scratch during his time with SKA. Michkov has played 17 games for them over the last three seasons. He has mostly been loaned to HK Sochi in the last two seasons. He has thrived in Sochi, posting 28 goals and 61 points in 73 games. Some believe this is also why Michkov was left off the Russia U25 team for the Liga Stavok Big National Team Tour. Rotenberg is the team's head coach.

It is unlikely Michkov would be made available to the Flyers this summer. Needing to establish himself further, SKA may decide he needs a full season on the team before allowing him to leave the league. The Flyers knew Michkov’s timeline since drafting him last summer. They would love to have him sooner than expected, though. Danny Briere said such during his end-of-season press conference.

We could soon find out if the Flyers will be able to see Michkov before the end of his KHL contract.