Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/31/12 at 07:38 PM ET
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
He defected. Remember that. Remember that as Sergei Fedorov does a TV interview surrounded by CSKA Moscow memorabilia – red stars on the sofa, a red star on the banner looming behind him. Remember that as he sits in his office at the Soviet arena on Leningradsky Prospect, the new head manager of what once was literally the Central Sport Club of the Army.
This is a story about evolution. The country has changed. Fedorov has changed. Look at them now: Moscow's streets are choked with the fancy cars Fedorov once left to drive in America, and Fedorov has returned to the club he abandoned to build a modern professional hockey organization upon that Central Red Army foundation – with guidance from none other than Viktor Tikhonov, the legendary Soviet taskmaster....
It was spy novel stuff. In 1990, still before the fall of the Iron Curtain, the Soviets came to play in theUnited States. The Detroit Red Wings, who had drafted Fedorov in the fourth round the year before, hatched a plan to sneak him out of the team hotel, a Holiday Inn on the outskirts of Portland, Ore.
The Wings hired a Russian-speaking journalist to communicate with Fedorov during media availability. The operation was a go. On his way to a game, Fedorov discreetly dropped his room key in the lobby. The journalist picked it up, went to Fedorov's room and gathered his belongings – what there were of them, anyway.
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