We’re at the point in the sports calendar where, outside of the 1st-place Phillies, we’re posting IG workout videos from players on the other teams:

Looks ready enough to me. Get this man 15 extra pounds and a plane ticket to the USA.

What’s going on with that anyway?

The latest update came from SKA St. Petersburg chairman Alexander Medvedev, who spoke recently with a Russian sports outlet. The Google translation is admittedly pretty crappy, but some notes from the article:

Q. Matvey Michkov has a two-year contract with SKA. But he really wants to go to Philadelphia. Will the club release him from St. Petersburg?

Medvedev:  I think it’s better to leave like Ovechkin or Panarin. When you have already established yourself in Russia, and you are not going to North America to travel between the NHL and AHL. We must not forget that Matvey experienced a terrible tragedy, losing his father, who was also a mentor for him, being by his side all the time. It’s hard to play psychologically, be it Sochi or Moscow, where everything reminds you of this loss. Maybe a change of environment will make it easier to adapt.

Q: Change to St. Petersburg or Philadelphia? Avangard released Ivan Miroshnichenko in the same situation.

Medvedev: Unlike the situation with Ivan Fedotov, we are in contact with Philadelphia. The Flyers management does not even hide their desire for Matvey to come to them and try his hand at the NHL. But if you go earlier, then you need to have a clause in the contract that if Philadelphia is tempted to send him to the AHL, he will have the right to return. But it’s too early to talk about this, because legally Michkov is under a contract with SKA. And Philadelphia sent us their assurances that they would not commit any violations of contractual rights.

Okay, fine, but isn’t the biggest takeaway here that SKA is in contact with Philly? No shenanigans complicating the situation, at least not yet. No mysterious abductions or illnesses or forced military servitude, or whatever else the Soviets are gonna pull. As long as the relationship is amicable and there’s an open line of communication, it bodes well. Much preferable to the Ivan Fedotov situation, though anything would be.