Russian hockey star detained after signing $1m NHL deal sent to ARCTIC

Russian Olympic hockey star detained after signing $1million deal with American team is sent to naval base in the ARCTIC to begin forced military service in Putin’s army

  • Ivan Fedotov was taken to Siberia naval base overnight after arrest yesterday
  • Olympic star, 25, signed $1.1million contract with NHL team just last month
  • But the sportsman was detained at rink yesterday on charges of ‘draft dodging’
  • Sudden snatching and transfer to remote base seen as revenge for move plans

The Russian ice hockey star who was detained on Friday and sent to an army enlistment office was transferred to a naval base in the Arctic overnight.

Olympic silver medalist Ivan Fedotov, 25, last month signed a contract worth $1.1million (£900,000) to play for American team the Philadelphia Flyers.

But two days ago he was rounded up by Russian plain-clothes policemen and taken to an army enlistment office in St Petersburg.

Fedotov, widely seen as the best goalie in the Russian-Chinese KHL league, is accused of seeking to dodge the draft as Russia struggles to recruit soldiers to fight in Ukraine.

Russian Olympic silver medalist Fedotov signed a $1.1million contract to play in the US in June

A Russian torpedo-fitted submarine is pictured at the Arctic naval base, where Fedotov is now

Men as old as 49 are allowed to enlist to fight in Putin’s ‘special military operation’.

In response to Fedotov’s detainment, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said the team was aware of the situation, but has ‘no further comment at this time’.

The authorities’ draconian response to Fedotov was widely interpreted as payback after he planned to quit CSKA, a KHL club in the capital with close ties to the Russian military.

Its name translates to Central Sports Club of the Army.

The Russian Northern Fleet base (hospital ship pictured) is a former Arctic port city

Worrying footage showed Fedotov confront police outside a rink in St Petersburg yesterday

After being hospitalised with stress-induced stomach pains at a city hospital, Fedotov is now reportedly at naval outpost Severomorsk.

The former Arctic port city is the headquarters of Putin’s Northern Fleet.

News outlet Fontanka reported that he would be sent to the Russian army rather than the US – and he could also face jail for alleged draft dodging.

‘He has just been detained ‘for evading the army’,’ reported Russian journalist Dmitry Navosha.

Navosha added that Fedotov ‘did not realise that [the USSR] is back’.

The move has been interpreted as an attempt to punish Fedotov for signing an NHL contract

Russian national goalie Fedotov had signed a contract with NHL side the Philadelphia Flyers

The player’s wife, Nadezhda Korzhneva, 26, an architecture graduate, has not commented on his detention and forced move into the military.

Fedotov is pictured collecting the KHL’s Goalkeeper of the Year award last season

Fedotov’s lawyer, Alexei Ponomaryev, told state news agency RIA on Saturday that Fedotov was taken to an enlistment office on Friday and then a military hospital after falling ill.

‘As I understand it, due to stress, he had gastritis,’ Ponomaryev said. ‘Ivan feels bad. He says that he is not being provided with full medical assistance.’

Ponomaryev denied accusations that his client had evaded military service.

The St Petersburg police service did not reply to a request for comment.

A spokesman for CSKA Moscow told Reuters on Friday it was awaiting official information from relevant bodies. 

‘At the moment Ivan Fedotov is not bound by contractual obligations with our club,’ the spokesman added.

The NHL has severed business ties with Russia but has not banned the more than 50 players on its teams.

The league is not allowing the Stanley Cup, its championship trophy, to travel to Russia for a home celebration for Valery Nichushkin of the Colorado Avalanche.

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