Canadian: the terrible underside of the Matvei Michkov dilemma

Canadian: the terrible underside of the Matvei Michkov dilemma


Matvei Michkov was not made in a factory. It will not arrive in the NHL in scratch-free, like-new packaging, with a warranty. Despite himself, he is plunged into a nightmare that seems to be underestimated in North America when it comes to drafting him or not, while the Canadian risks being the team that will be the first to settle this debate. with his fifth pick in June. 

If he's as good as we're told, Matvei Michkov could one day make millions, become a big star , to have a dream life, with two or three Ferraris. 

But he must not care about any of that today. 

The reality is that Matvei Michkov has just lost his father, “the best dad in the world”, as he said. He was found dead in a pond near the family home in Russia. Six weeks later, no one knows what happened. Did the father want his son to make the jump to the NHL faster, while he is under contract until 2026 in the KHL? It seems unthinkable that this could justify such a drama, but it is part of the assumptions. 

The reality is also that Michkov will have to disappoint his government to follow his dream. And his government is more than ever imprisoning or killing certain groups that oppose their regime.

And finally, the reality is that those who want to enrich Michkov, it will be a team from Canada or the United States, two countries indirectly at war with Russia in the conflict with Ukraine.

Not a robot 

What fascinates me about Michkov's draft dilemma is how little you ever hear about the state this young man could land in the NHL. As if he were a robot and we were going to press the “play hockey” button and he was going to be an incredible machine. 

However, several amateurs wondered about Logan Mailloux. How will a youngster who has weathered this storm be able to handle the pressure in Montreal, some wondered. 

As if there could be human issues for Mailloux, but not so much for Michkov. As if he had no soul.

He may be the bravest young man in the world. But what he saw in spite of himself was infinitely sad and any teenager in his position would be mentally destroyed by what he saw. 

Incomprehensible death

Recall that on April 2, Matvei's father, Andrei Michkov, was found dead in a pond near his residence and the Olympic Park in Sochi, Russia. He was 51. 

Some media have claimed that it was a natural death. But nothing finally proved it. Six weeks later, the investigation is still ongoing. Nobody knows what happened to the father of the young prodigy.

“There are no preconditions for his disappearance. No quarrels, conflicts or problems with alcohol,” Russian journalist Ivan Bohum wrote in the Sport Express media. 

No marks of violence were noticed on the body during the autopsy, Sport Express wrote, and he died of drowning. 

But that is unthinkable that he could have drowned during an evening swim. The water was practically frozen. No sane person would go swimming at this temperature.

In a text published in April, the journalist Bohum recounted why it was unlikely that Andrei Michkov could have taken his own life when he was a present father who surely did not want to disappear when his son was about to start to shine.  

“He was the one who first put the skates in his feet and since then he has been involved in almost all of his son's affairs, playing the role of personal trainer, in particular. He moved to follow his son to Yaroslavl in 2015 and St Petersburg in 2020, where he took up a job with the team. He accompanied his son in all the international tournaments. He then moved to the beautiful city of Sochi, on the shore of the Black Sea, to provide a more comfortable life for his whole family.” 

The father of hope Matvei Michkov, Andrei Michkov has died at the age of 51, in a mysterious way, on April 4th.

Hughes will not know more

The mystery therefore remains intact and it would be surprising if we knew more, according to Jean Lévesque, professor of history at the 'UQAM specializes in international sport and Russian politics.

The story of the father “it's a bit complicated, I don't really understand,” he says. 

“Is it the state? We have nothing. But Kent Hughes is careful. He is very careful. I doubt we know more. They'll be releasing an official story soon and that'll be it. And what's more, it's worse than it was before, we are less well informed with the war. It’s very opaque,” ​​he continues, about the media and the Russian government.

Does Hughes expect clear explanations? “I don't think so,” he said.