More than a week has passed since the start of the new season in the KHL, but unexpectedly the most important news is not about the results of the matches. Now many are worried about problems with two Russians associated with the NHL – Ivan Fedotov and Matvey Michkov. This time we will skip the case of the Moscow army player and focus on the hockey player from the St. Petersburg team.
“The KHL is now a rogue league.” The reaction of the United States and the world to Fedotov’s game for CSKA
Michkov missed three of the four games at the start of the championship. After a strong last season, a highly anticipated draft, and a great preseason, the absence of a forward in the lineup raises big questions and concerns. And not only in Russia, this situation is also actively discussed in North America.
It is noteworthy that the world is concerned that one hockey player Fedotov is playing, and another hockey player Michkov is not playing. We have compiled the most interesting comments from North American experts on the subject of the SKA striker. Did the forward really “pay” for saying that he wanted to play in the NHL?
“This is Russia and the KHL, there are always frauds”
The riots began after SKA’s opening match against Dynamo Moscow. Hockey News reporter Rachel Doerry responded on her Twitter page to Michkov not being included in the St. Petersburg team’s request. She believes that the forward’s omission is related to the situation of CSKA goalkeeper Ivan Fedotov. “No one should lose sight of the fact that Michkov’s rights belong to Philadelphia, and this [пропуск] it happened while the situation with Fedotov was developing. This is Russia and the KHL, there is always shenanigans. Considering that the agreement between the NHL and KHL is practically useless, I would try to get Matvey Michkov here as soon as possible,” the message reads.
Photo: Yuri Kuzmin, foto.khl.ru
Columnist for the Philadelphia publication Philly Hockey Now, Chuck Bausman, was also perplexed by the situation with Matvey: “The absence is surprising, since Michkov is considered one of the most promising players in Russia. No team wants their best prospect to miss a game, especially the season opener. Going forward, it’s more important to see if Michkov plays in the next game and how much ice time he’ll get. Missing several games in a row can be a concern.”
“The tenacious coach Rotenberg tries to control the equally tenacious Michkov”
Daily Faceoff journalist Vasili Gianaracos delved into the situation after Michkov’s second pass.
“Michkov’s absence came after the striker played well in SKA’s first preseason matches. The talented prospect performed well even playing center, a completely new position for him. Not only did Michkov score at least one point in almost every preseason game, but the prospect also contributed on the ice in other ways.
Michkov displayed tenacity on the front attack and a desire to compete for the puck, even in rear control and deep in his defensive zone. Michkov’s preparation in the hockey preseason was far from error-free, one period was quite difficult due to the loss of several pucks. Outside of this period, there wasn’t much to criticize for Michkov’s all-around game in the KHL preseason.
R. Rotenberg: Michkov will play. You just have to earn it first.
As the preseason progressed, the young forward’s ice time shortened. In two matches, held from August 19 to 24, Michkov played only eight and five minutes, respectively. This ultimately led to Michkov missing the preseason match on August 25 when SKA faced Siberia. This above-described on-ice treatment clearly led to Michkov being used in a similar fashion in the SKA’s first two regular season games.
After the first game of the regular season, coach Roman Rotenberg spoke about the decision to leave Michkov out of the lineup. He said that Matvey would have to come to the SKA team, but in the next matches he would be the 13th striker of the team.
The KHL is not generally considered a league for developing young players and prospects. As a result, Michkov, who receives limited ice time despite his talent level, is far from an unusual player. Apparently, Matvey and Rotenberg are developing a scenario in which a strong-willed coach is trying to establish control over an equally strong-willed young player, Michkov.
The above situation explains the doubts that NHL clubs may have experienced when considering Michkov as a draft candidate. Obviously, Philadelphia can’t control the development path of its seventh draft pick due to his contract with SKA for the next three seasons.
The most important thing for the talented striker is to have enough playing time to continue to develop fully during the upcoming KHL regular season. Whether it will be SKA or another KHL Club (due to a loan), time will tell. But the moment when Michkov was left out of the lineup for playing reasons was notable given the tension that had already arisen between the Flyers and the KHL regarding another Flyers prospect, Ivan Fedotov,” Daily Faceoff quotes Gianaracos as saying. .
Sportsnet journalist Jason Bukala believes Michkov should consider renting him to another KHL club. The observer is sure that the young striker simply needs to play more.
“His skating, both behind the net and in open ice, should improve as he gets older. He is still young and has plenty of room to add more power to his legs. This will make it more dangerous during breaks. When he has the puck in the offensive zone, it’s clear he has excellent stick handling, vision and skill.
Michkov needs to play more minutes. Sitting in the press box or playing less than eight minutes a game while trying to play a new position at the professional level is not what a developing player needs. A loan to another KHL team is worth considering. When he was loaned to Sochi last season, he scored nine goals and provided 11 assists in 27 appearances and played his own game. He was involved in equal compositions and in the game for the most part. He needs minutes, so a return to Sochi could make sense,” the article says.
“Michkov’s public statements about his desire to play in the NHL influence”
Athletic journalist Charlie O’Connor believes that Michkov’s absence may be a consequence of his desire to play in the NHL.
“Ultimately, I don’t think Michkov’s treatment earlier in the season will be remembered as anything more than a hindrance to his overall development. But I have to imagine the Flyers are really upset watching this from across the Atlantic. Especially after having had an impressive preseason. Is this some kind of revenge against Fedotov? It’s impossible to say for sure, but I don’t think so. In fact, their war is not against the Flyers, but against the IIHF. However, I suspect that the fact that Michkov has publicly stated that he wants to come play in the NHL plays into this,” the report says.
B/ROpenIce put it succinctly and bluntly on Twitter: “7th overall draft pick can barely see ice…”
“Michkov is special, he would be better than 90% of this SKA team”
Sportsnet journalist Nathan Gravitech spoke on his Twitter page about the situation of young SKA forward Matvey Michkov. The forward has already missed three of the four games at the start of the KHL season. “Matvey Michkov in his first four games of the KHL season:
September 2: remained on the bench for gambling reasons; September 4: remained on the bench for gambling reasons; Sept. 6: No points, no shots, 6:12 on ice; September 8: He remained on the bench for gambling reasons.
“The KHL is absolutely a league of rich and poor.” Journalist on the consequences of the Fedotov case
Three things that could be true:
The KHL is not a league for developing young players and prospects, like any other player, have to earn their time on the ice. Michkov is special and would probably be better than 90% of this roster if he played every game. The next three years will be a huge headache for Philadelphia fans,” the report said.
Photo: Yuri Kuzmin, foto.khl.ru
The situation also worries Montreal journalists. The Canadians have long been considered the main contenders for Michkov, so now the city continues to keep an eye on the young hockey player. Thus, LeJournaldeQuébec journalist Kevin Dubec considers that the KHL as a whole is not suitable for the development of prospects.
“Matvey Michkov did not participate in SKA’s first two games, in the third he played just over six minutes and in the fourth he did not enter the lineup either. Everyone is already losing their temper. What are we to understand about the sporadic use of young and talented Russians? Intrusion into the complex question of Russia’s hopes in the KHL.
Michkov was not drafted by the Montreal Canadiens, but we see his name in the Montreal media almost every day. And get ready, this is just the beginning!
“A new version of the Russian factor.” In the United States they told how the Fedotov case will affect NHL clubs
But it’s not that. In Quebec they talk about Michkov because he has not played in the KHL since the start of the season, although we talk about him as a generational talent, the Russian equivalent of Connor Bedard, who will play in the NHL in the 2023/2024 season. . We can already imagine Montreal in blood and fire if the Canadiens had chosen a winger in the last draft instead of David Reinbacher.
But this is hypothetical.
The reality is that Michkov does not seem to have any special status in the SKA, despite his enormous talent. However, last year he showed that he is capable of playing and producing at this level. Little used by SKA at the start of the season (averaging just over three minutes per game), he was loaned out to HC Sochi, where he scored 20 points in 27 games and then played almost 16 minutes per game.
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We’ve already jumped to conclusions, saying that the fears about Michkov were real, that the young man had behavioral problems. This explains why he is not allowed to step on the ice, despite his talent, which we call exceptional.
There may be some truth to this, but we’ll never know.
However, the reality is that the treatment Michkov receives is no different from what almost every top Russian prospect has received over the past five years.
The KHL is not a league for developing young players and historically coaches have had trouble pleasing NHL teams recruiting prospects to the KHL, especially from top teams like SKA or CSKA. “Teams have also shown in recent years that they are not very willing to invest in the development of a young man who is about to leave for North America,” Dube wrote.