Before debuting with the Red Wings in 1990-91, Russian-born Fedorov made himself known while playing on the famous Red Army line that paired him with Pavel Bure and Alexander Mogilny. At the age of 20, Fedorov defected from the Soviet Union and started his NHL career in Detroit, quickly establishing himself as one of the most skilled players in the game. He registered 79 points in his rookie season and continued to increase his numbers the following three seasons. In 1993-94, he finished second in the league in scoring with 120 points (56 goals, 64 assists), a spectacular performance that earned him the Hart Memorial Trophy, Frank J. Selke Trophy and Lester B. Pearson Award.
With 107 points at the end of the 1995-96 season, Fedorov was again awarded the Selke Trophy. He led the Wings in scoring in 1994, 1996 and 2003, and he holds the distinction of being first overall in NHL plus/minus for the 1990s with a plus-221 rating. As part of the Russian Five line, Fedorov helped the Wings win the Stanley Cup in 1997 and again the following season, when he posted 20 playoff points for the third consecutive year. Fedorov won the Cup with the Wings once more in 2002 before relocating for stints with the Mighty Ducks, the Blue Jackets and the Capitals. In 13 seasons, Fedorov scored 954 points for the Wings (400 goals, 554 assists), making him the fifth-highest scorer on the franchise all-time scoring list.