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Dossier Matvei Michkov: “Are we afraid? Yes” – Daniel Brière
At the last draft, the Montreal Canadiens chose not to draft Matvei Michkov. After the first four centers left, David Reinbacher finally came to town.

This caused quite a stir, but it’s no surprise: we’d suspected for a long time that the Habs didn’t exactly intend to draft the Russian forward with their fifth pick.

And finally, after the Coyotes took a Russian defenseman in the sixth spot, Daniel Brière’s Flyers took a chance on the talented young forward.

Of course, we’re not telling you anything when we say that, based on talent alone, Mishkov would probably have been taken in the top-2 of the draft. He and Connor Bedard have talent coming out of their ears.

But several aspects (his contract, his attitude, the Russian factor, the death of his father, etc.) set back the top six teams in the draft – and who knows if he would have been drafted seventh if a club other than Philly had the pick in their hands.

In an interview on 98.5 FM last night with Yanick Bouchard, GM Daniel Brière talked about this very issue – among many others.

The Flyers didn’t leave anything to chance when it came to drafting him. A few meetings were taken with the young man (both in Philadelphia and in Nashville, at the draft) and the Philly staff liked what they saw.

Mishkov’s dream is to play in the NHL, and his father really wanted to see him win a Stanley Cup.

He answered all our questions. He was committed. – Daniel Brière

That said, that’s never been in doubt. What we can ask ourselves is to what extent this player understood things in relation to the feedback his teammates in Russia gave him.

And according to Brière, it’s interesting to note that the young man has progressed.

The GM, who claims to have grilled the prospect in an interview, said that he replied that he may have been asking too much of his team-mates, and that he’s learning from it all.

So Brière isn’t worried about it. He sees it as a sign that he wants to win.

But despite the fact that the youngster is living up to what the Flyers are trying to build within the organization, there is still a certain fear that exists.

And the GM wasn’t afraid to say so.

Are we afraid? Yes, just like everyone else. That’s probably why he fell to us at #7.

We hope and trust that one day he’ll want to come and play. We know he wants to play in the NHL, but a lot of things have to fall into place. – Daniel Brière

Brière, who knows that he won’t be landing in Philly this year (normally, it’ll be in three years), is aware of the risks involved in all this – we suspected as much, of course – and he’s not afraid to say it loud and clear.

Not everyone would have done this.

It really took a convinced GM with the free rein to draft a guy like that. Will it work for Brière and his Flyers? That remains to be seen.

But if Michkov becomes an NHL star, Brière will have won his bet.

In Brief

– Here are the CH games with a special theme.

– Captain in the NHL: less and less important? [BPM Sports]

– Well done.

– Good luck replacing Tom Brady.

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