The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/12/12 at 06:34 PM ET
Updated at 6:57 PM with a better translation from Yahoo Sports’ Dmitry Chesnokov: As I was attending my pal’s graduation, the news came rolling across Twitter: my first favorite Red Wing, Sergei Fedorov, has chosen to hang up his skates. According to Sovetsky Sport and multiple Russian sources, Fedorov has retired at the age of 42 and will become CSKA Moscow’s general manager in short order, though he may play in one final game this fall (roughly translated of course):
Ice hockey player Sergei Fedorov has accepted an invitation to become CSKA Hockey’s general manager, a source close to the club told the agency “F-Sport.”
“Sergei came into the club office, where yesterday (Friday) evening, he met with club director Alexey Khudaykov,” and both were satisfied,” said the agency’s source.
“Most probably, the first game of CSKA in the next season will be a farewell for Sergei, it would be the end, and he would focus on the managerial work on the team,” said the source.
Fedorov left Detroit under incredibly acrimonious circumstances in the summer of 2003, with Fedorov and his father, Viktor, asserting via the Russian press and Sport-Express’s Igor Larin in particular that Mike Ilitch pulled a contract off the table, while VP Jimmy Devellano and various sources suggested that the opposite was true.
It comes as no surprise that Igor Larin is taking credit for the “prediction” today, and as he notes, Fedorov won three Stanley Cups with Detroit, he captured the Hart Trophy in 1994, and he registered 954 of his career total 1,179 points as a Wings (in 908 games played as a Wing), which leaves him in fifth place on the Wings’ all-time scoring list. fourth-most in team history.
Fedorov played his final three seasons with Metalurg Magnitogorsk in the KHL, and he may have been one of the most controversial players in Wings history for his relationship with Anna Kournikova, mercurial personality later in his years with the Wings and his, let’s say decline in scoring when his off-ice priorities seemed to take precedence over his desire to play dominant hockey as a Wing, but…
One wonders whether, five or ten years from now, #91 will be raised to the rafters at Joe Louis Arena, because Fedorov most certainly was one of the Wings’ best players ever, and he is most certainly a Hall-of-Fame player.
Update: As the Sporting News’s Sean Gentile notes, Fedorov did indeed play for CSKA…
And to put this in context, CSKA is in some serious-ass turmoil. Slava Fetisov was the team’s president this past season, but he very publicly resigned and said he wanted nothing to do with the team because Sergei Nemchinov was a terrible GM, during the KHL’s All-Star Game (one of the teams was “Team Fedorov”) and during KHL president Alexander Medvedev’s state-of-the-league address.
None other than Vladimir Putin had agreed to spend more $$ to restore CSKA to hockey prominence, tying the oil and gas giant Rosneft to CSKA during the season, too…
But they obviously need a new GM, so Fedorov will be the face of the organization.
And, d’oh: Yahoo Sports’ Dmitry Chesnokov beat me to the punch:
Sergei Fedorov at 42 was still going strong playing in the KHL with Metallurg Magnitogorsk. After the season was over, I noted that it may indeed have been Fedorov’s last playing professional hockey. A few weeks ago Fedorov said, “My body definitely doesn’t want to play hockey I can definitely say. But my mind constantly thinks about hockey and the will to play on the subconscious level again tries to convince my body to play.”
Whispers that Fedorov may move into a hockey management role in Russia started surfacing recently. A few years ago, when Fedorov was still with the Capitals, he told me that he never contemplated becoming a manager. However, it appears that he will become the next general manager of the storied CSKA Red Army club, the team he defected from in 1990 when the team was participating in the Goodwill Games in Seattle.
“Sergei came to the club office where the day before [on Friday] he met with the general director of the club, Alexei Khudyakov, and both were satisfied [with the meeting],” a source inside the club told R-Sport news agency.
“It’s a great possibility that CSKA’s first home game of the new season will be Sergei’s farewell. It will be sort of a farewell celebration and he will concentrate on the management work at the club.”
CSKA has not confirmed the news officially. Fedorov, a certain future Hall of Famer, himself is yet to officially announce his retirement from hockey.
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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.