PHILADELPHIA — Russian hockey goalie Ivan Fedotov was reportedly detained Friday in Russia on the request of the military prosecutor's office for evading military service. Multiple Russian outlets have reported the news.
CNN reports the Russian news outlet Fontanka says the military prosecutor's office believes that there are grounds to "consider Fedotov an army evader."
In May, Fedotov, a 25-year-old Finnish-born Russian, signed a one-year entry level contract with the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHL.
That came after a strong year for Fedotov in the Russian and Chinese hockey league, the KHL. He played on CSKA Moscow, who won the Gagarin Cup. He also helped Russia to a silver medal in the Olympics.
Fontanka reported Fedotov was detailed outside of an ice arena in St. Petersburg and transported to a military enlistment office where he was hospitalized after becoming ill.
“We’re not sure what exactly is going on, news out of Russia is very suspect all the time and we don’t have very specific reports," Locked On Flyers podcast host Rachel Donner said on their Sunday show. "The details are very thin because it’s hard to confirm anything that’s happened over there. The Flyers and NHL say they’re aware and looking into it but haven’t made formal statements other than that.”
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"What we do know is he has played for CSKA Moscow which is a KHL team affiliated with the Russian Army,' Donner said. "In the past, we know that some players who have played for that team have had that count toward their mandatory military service. In Russia, men between 18 and 27 have to join the army for a year and a lot of hockey players have used their time on state hockey teams as their service before."
Locked On Flyers co-host Russ Cohen said information from Russian sources is questionable at this time, saying he doesn't want to dangerously speculate.
"I can tell you the information is light and sketchy so that’s why I’m not going to say much about it because I don’t want to hurt the situation there and we just hope it gets resolved quickly," Cohen said.
Fedotov's strong season with CSKA Moscow and the Russian national team led to the Flyers' interest in bringing him over. Cohen said Russia was obviously aware of that deal he signed.
“CSKA knows that he was trying to come here (to the Flyers), so it’s not like they were shocked by this. That’s all I’ll say," Cohen said.
Fedotov was reportedly detained on the same day that Brittany Griner's trial began near Moscow.
Griner has been detained in Russia since February on drug smuggling charges, which can be punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
US officials have called for Griner's release, saying she is wrongfully detained after she was accused by a prosecutor of smuggling less than a gram of cannabis oil in her luggage.
Another hearing for Griner is set for July 7.