Detroit Red Wings presented by AT&T
2015-16 Ticket Plans Available Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App

  • RSS

Report says Fedorov to be GM

Life for former Wings' star comes full circle with Moscow return

Monday, 05.14.2012 / 2:28 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor |
Share with your Friends

Report says Fedorov to be GM

Sergei Fedorov was one of the most dynamic two-way players in NHL history, playing 13 seasons with the Red Wings, and winning three Stanley Cups. (Photo by Getty Images)

DETROIT – Looks like Sergei Fedorov is headed back to the club that helped launch his pro hockey career 26 years ago.

Reports out of Russia over the weekend indicate that the former Red Wings center will soon retire as a player to take over as general manager of Moscow CSKA of the Kontinental Hockey League.

The move, if true, doesn’t come as a surprise to those around Joe Louis Arena who know Fedorov best, including Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill.

“Sergei is such a big part of Russian hockey history, he was one of the first players to really defect and open the doors for a lot of people,” Nill said. “And then he kind of came full circle and came back to the federation and is making a name for himself again in Russia, which is nice to see. It’s like giving back to your community and that’s what he’s done.”

In 1986, Fedorov began his pro career as a 17-year-old player on a CSKA team that was a who’s who of elite Russian hockey talent, which included such notables as Igor Larionov, Vyacheslav Fetisov, Vladimir Konstantinov and Dmitri Mironov, all who would eventually join Fedorov on the Wings’ roster.

Four years later, Fedorov defection to the U.S. on the eve of the 1990 Goodwill Games in Seattle sent shock waves through the sports community.

Already informed by then-GM Jim Lites that the Wings had selected him in the 1990 amateur draft, Fedorov had to make a quick decision following an exhibition game in Portland, Oregon on July 19.

“We decided to leave because (the Wings) said that someone else from our team might defect,” Fedorov said during a 2009 TV interview, “and if that happened everybody we would be really watched.

“We played that game out and I was the last guy with my roommate at the bus, and when everyone went up (to their hotel rooms) I told my roomie that ‘I’m going to Detroit.’ His eyes got big and I thought he was going to grab me because he’s twice as big. I said, ‘Listen, I know that you’re going to get in trouble, some kind of trouble, here is all the money that I have.’ So I gave him a thousand Swiss francs. That was my savings from all of the years that I played in the Soviet Union.”

An elite skater, Fedorov quickly established himself as one of the best two-way players in the game and finished his North American career with 483 goals and 1,179 points, which is the most among Russian-born players in NHL history.

On the 13th anniversary of his defection from the Soviet Union, Fedorov left the Wings to sign a free agency contract with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. He is still one of the most highly-decorated players in Wings’ history and remains in the top five in virtually every offensive category.

Following 18 seasons in the NHL, including 13 with the Wings, Fedorov returned to Russia in 2009 and played the last three campaigns with Metallurg Magnitogorsk. But time has slowed Fedorov, who earned a Hart Trophy (1994) to go with two Selke Trophies (1994, ‘96) and three Stanley Cup championships with the Wings.

“I think that players like Sergei just love the game so much that you don’t want it to go away,” Nill said. “It’s your whole life, to be that good at what they do, they’ve given everything they’ve got, they’re not done giving it up yet. They still have more to give … Unfortunately the body doesn’t let you go anymore, but their mind and their drive is still there that they want to impact the game in some way.”

Fedorov joins a long list of former Wings teammates who have made the jump from the ice to the front office over the last few years, including Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan, Brett Hull, Luc Robitaille and Fetisov.

“I think it shows that those teams were so successful and it shows the strong leadership with guys that were driven with leadership abilities to get into the font office,” Nill said. “All of these guys have made the step and it just shows you how much character and how much leadership was on those teams.”

Until recently, elite players like Yzerman, Fedorov, Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier weren’t always considered as first-choice candidates for top managerial position. But that has evolved since Yzerman led Team Canada to the Olympic gold medal in 2010 and his Tampa Bay Lightning came within one win of reaching the Stanley Cup finals last spring.

“Sergei is a very smart guy and he knows the game very well and I think his presence in the front office will be a great mark for Russian hockey,” Nill said. “You’re talking about some of the best players of all-time, they’re just so passionate about the game. Look at all of these guys, they’ve all played 15 to 20-years plus in their business and to do that you have to have a great passion.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
© NHL 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Advertise/SponsorshipsOlympia Entertainment | Code of Conduct | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Employment | Contact Us | Terms of Use | Site Map