Matvei Michkov reveals the true side of Connor Bedard's family.

Matvei Michkov reveals the true side of Connor Bedard's family.

First round pick Matvei Michkov shares some inside information regarding the Bedard family.

Jonathan Larivee

In a sport as intense and as physical as the sport of hockey, it's easy to build long lasting rivalries with your opponents. That being said players can also often find a way to build lasting bonds with one another in spite of those rivalries, and that appears to be the case for first round picks Matvei Michkov and Connor Bedard.

On Friday, the Philadelphia Flyers first round pick made a very interesting revelation about the family of Chicago Blackhawks first overall pick Connor Bedard, a revelation that will likely earn the Bedard family some well deserved praise from the hockey community. Michkov revealed that the Bedard family welcomed him with open arms, no small gesture given the stigma around Russian players since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine erupted again in 2022.

“His family came up to me…they told me if I ever come to [Vancouver] I have a home to stay," revealed Michkov.

A great show of class from the Bedard family and one that likely stems from the long standing tradition of billet families in the hockey community, and one that Michkov himself says he would be happy to reciprocate if ever given the unlikely opportunity to do so.

"I told him (Bedard) you aren't likely to be in Russia but if you are any time you have my number l'm always happy to see you," said Michkov.

Although Michkov made the comments in his native language of Russian, the genuine respect and admiration he feels for the Bedard family still came across clearly on video. Even the interviewer speaking to Bedard at the time seemed to share in that admiration for what was unquestionably a wonderful act of kindness.

That being said I doubt very much that will dull the rivalry between these two young stars of the future, a rivalry that will no doubt be tinged with more than just a hint of respect.