CORAL SPRINGS — When the Florida Panthers open training camp next Thursday, goalie Sergei Bobrovsky will be there.
As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there were concerns around the NHL surrounding players who returned home — especially younger players — and whether there would be a problem coming back.
Bobrovsky, who will officially start his fourth season with the Panthers next week, has been on the ice practicing with his teammates in preparation for training camp.
The 33-year-old netminder finished last season 39-7-3 with a .913/2.67 and led the NHL in wins.
Concerns about players making it back from their homeland this summer were raised when Philadelphia Flyers goalie prospect Ivan Fedotov was detained by Russian officials for evading military service after he signed an entry-level deal with his NHL club.
Minnesota Wild star Kirill Kaprizov also had team officials worried about his status this summer following reports he was being “sought after” by Russian authorities due to military service requirements.
Bobrovsky and prospect Grigori Denisenko are the only Russian players currently on the Panthers heading into camp.
Denisenko missed the second half of last season with a broken kneecap but is expected to battle for a spot on the team during training camp.
He was not spotted on the ice for Tuesday’s closed informal practice at the IceDen but per his Instagram, Denisenko was training in Switzerland in late August.
With flights suspended between Russia and the United States following the invasion, players around the NHL are having to fly to different countries to get back for training camp.
Florida will start training camp on Sept. 22 before opening its preseason with a doubleheader in Nashville on Sept. 26.
Bobrovsky is expected to be the team’s starting goaltender when they kick off the 2022-23 season against the host New York Islanders on Oct. 13.