The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/02/12 at 05:16 PM ET
George still on part-time vacation, his idea, not mine, so Paul here with your latest news…
Detroit, MI… The Detroit Red Wings® and Toronto Maple Leafs® today announced the addition of nine total players that will participate in the festivities surrounding the 2012 Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings Alumni Showdown™ on December 31 at Comerica Park™, part of the 2012 SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival™. The Wings confirmed four members of Detroit’s famed ‘Russian Five’ with Viacheslav Fetisov, Igor Larionov, Vladimir Konstantinov and Sergei Fedorov. Toronto added 50-goal scorer Gary Leeman, Russ Courtnall, Bill Derlago, Bob McGill and all-stars Vincent Damphousse and Dave Ellett.
Comprised of a quintet of Soviet-born players, Detroit’s ‘Russian Five’ played a major role in the Red Wings’ late-1990s success. Assembled by legendary coach Scotty Bowman to play as a five-man unit, the unit proved to be a formidable force during their brief time together (1995-98). Confounding opposing teams by appropriating the fast, control-based style of play that had made the USSR an international powerhouse for several decades, the ‘Russian Five’ helped Detroit end a 42-year Stanley Cup draught in 1997 and repeated the feat in ’98 following the loss of Konstantinov in a tragic car accident that prematurely ended his career. Both Fetisov (2001) and Larionov (2008) were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The six Maple Leafs boast a total NHL experience of 5,463 games played, led by Damphousse with 1,378; and 5,276 penalty minutes, including McGill’s 1,766 PIMs. The six former Leafs also combined for 1,287 goals and 3,471 points in their NHL careers.
Players thus far announced for Detroit’s roster include 50-goal scorers Mickey Redmond and John Ogrodnick; Hall of Famers Luc Robitaille, Dino Ciccarelli, Chris Chelios, Larry Murphy and Mark Howe; all four members of ‘The Grind Line’ – Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby, Darren McCarty and Joe Kocur; Stanley Cup-winning goaltenders Chris Osgood and Mike Vernon; Red Wings legends Ted Lindsay and Alex Delvecchio; and Russian Five members Viacheslav Fetisov, Igor Larionov and Vladimir Konstantinov.
Members of the Toronto Maple Leafs® alumni currently scheduled to participate on New Year’s Eve at Comerica Park™ include: Hockey Hall of Famer Darryl Sittler; 50-goal scorers Rick Vaive and Gary Leeman; fan favorites Darcy Tucker, Felix Potvin, Mike Palmateer, Kevin Maguire, Vincent Damphousse, Russ Courtnall, Dave Ellett, Bill Derlago and Bob McGill; Stanley Cup champions Dave Andreychuk and Doug Gilmour; rough-and-tumble winger Wendel Clark; 454-win goaltender Curtis Joseph; and Maple Leafs® legends Johnny Bower, Ron Ellis and Jim McKenny.
Further alumni will be announced in the coming weeks.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.