Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 07/15/07 at 07:48 AM ET
Within minutes of the story hitting the wires, George Malik posted an article from the Russian daily Sport Express that claimed a Sergei Fedorov return to Hockeytown is an idea brewing in both camps. Frigging George. The guy’s a bloodhound. That was back on July 12th. If you haven’t seen it, head over there and read it. When you’re done, get back here because there’s another article from that same edition I want you to see.
Nifty. You’re back. No idea what the headline on that story says but all those weird symbols and Baltic words and stuff are fun to look at.
Mike, a Wing fan in Wisconsin, forwarded me the translation of an interview with our favorite father, Victor Fedorov. Say what you want about the old man but the guy’s tenacious when it comes to speaking on behalf (or maybe in spite of) his son.
My Soul Aches For My Son
(The interview with Victor Fedorov, Sergei’s father residing in Detroit; with Igor Larin; published by Sport-Express on June 12, 2007)
Victor Fedorov: From the hockey standpoint the “Detroit Version” seems to me the strongest one and the most promising, emphasized Fedorov Sr. Believe me, Sergei in his 37 hasn’t abandoned his ambitions. As a professional player his sole aim is the Stanley Cup, his 4th. Understandably, if the Columbus keeps it up, they won’t see one in next several decades.
Igor Larin: Does current Detroit suit your son’s game style?
VF: Generally, yes. Of course, the team of Sergei’s tenure that dominated the league doesn’t exist anymore. However, some traditions are still there: the team still maintains the puck control, and plays the smart, team hockey. Lately, my soul is hurting for my older son. I see his potential, but under current conditions realizing it is very difficult, if not impossible.
IL: What does Sergei think about the Detroit possibility? Is he concerned that he’d be getting the same hostile reception in Motown as during his visits as a Duck or a Blue Jacket?
VF: We didn’t talk about it. As far as fans’ reaction is concerned, it varied. I assure you that the people who came to watch the game of hockey, and not just to chug the beer, haven’t criticized Fedorov.
IL: Does Sergei know about the news of his possible return to the Red Wings?
VF: No. Just late last night he returned to Detroit from Miami where he, by the way, was able to get some ice time in preparation for the next season. Although, we did notice 2 weeks ago that there were some “winds of change” in Detroit. The largest newspaper in town published the big article about Fedorov. He was named as one of the best athletes over the last 15 years, and the thought was expressed that the club only lost from Sergei’s departure by forgetting what Stanley Cup was.
IL: Was it an accidental article? Or did somebody request it in the club’s management?
VF: That’s what Sergei and I were wondering. We still don’t know the answer.
A few impressions. It’s always tough to determine the senior Fedorov’s motivation. Does he say what Sergei wishes he could say himself? Or is he just a frustrated dad, babbling to the first microphone that appears in front of his face? During Feds’ tenure in Detroit, the Russian media consistently went to Victor at the first sign of controversy. In those days, papers like Sport Express may as well have been Detroit dailies, due mainly to the presence of the Russian 5. In this case, Victor’s fairly subdued and he makes a couple points I agree with.
1. Fedorov is wasting away in Columbus, as any of us would. Against the Wings, and on a line with Nash, he’s occasionally flourished. But his career is going nowhere with no prospects for team success. If he truly wants to experience the playoffs again, it won’t be in Columbus and he has to be considering options to get back to a contender.
2. Love this part. “I assure you that the people who came to watch the game of hockey, and not just to chug the beer, haven’t criticized Fedorov.” Whoa. You wait one damn minute Victor. There are some beer chuggers in the crowd who find the actions of other beer chuggers to be pathetic, but that doesn’t mean chugging beer is the reason for the behavior. As I, and a few others here, have said; if Fedorov returns to Detroit, he’ll be cheered consistently.
3. Dad says he and Sergei haven’t discussed a return to Detroit. That, my friends, is a lie. Victor’s a lying liar. Of course they’ve discussed it. They’ve probably discussed it every time Columbus plays the Wings, much more than that actually. Haven’t discussed a return? Try this one Victor: “Yes, we’ve discussed it. In fact, we obsess about it.”
4. Victor mentions an article about listing the top athletes in Detroit over the last fifteen years? I haven’t seen it but that doesn’t mean it’s not out there. If any of you have it, please forward and I’ll take full credit for finding it. Yes, Sergei would be in that list (maybe as high as 4th after The Captain, Lidstrom and Barry Sanders). If the paper that ran it (Freep, News?) had any nut whatsoever, about ten of those athletes would be Wings.
5. Was “it” an accidental article? I’ve never got the impression that the organ-I-zation does much secret squirrel stuff through the media. I don’t think they’re in the habit of planting stories to gauge fan reaction. In fact, the idea that the Wings care at all about what you or I think is pretty silly.
Dollars and motivation. Can Fedorov be bought out? If so, will the Wings slide some dough under the table to the BJ’s to help in that endeavor? If so, would they want him back? If they would, under what economic conditions? 37 and apparently hungry for another Cup…sounds like a recipe for the Wing standard 2 mil plus bonuses for TEAM success.
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