The Malik Report
by George Malik on 12/28/13 at 03:06 AM ET
I'm reluctantly posting this as a separate entry because the player in question is taking part in the Red Wings' Alumni Showdown, and I'm posting it because the end of his playing career seems to be taking the same pattern of intrigue and mystery with which his NHL career began:
Over the past four months, CSKA Moscow GM Sergei Fedorov's navigated what turned out to be a professional comeback on Friday with a finely-tuned general manager's worth of wordplay and double-entendres, and after helping CSKA Moscow defeat the Rochester Americans 4-3 at the Spengler Cup, he engaged in a little show-and-hide with the Russian press.
According to Allhockey.ru, Fedorov--whose team takes on Geneve-Servette in a final round robin game today--told the Swiss media that he does not intend to play in any regular-season games for his KHL team, but #18 (he wore #18 when he played for CSKA Moscow from 1986-1990) told Sport-Express's Andrew Afinogentov that he will play today, though Davos, Switzerland's altitude of 5,118 feet got to him (and what follows is roughly translated)...
"At least in this tournament, I'll try to play again. As for the longer-term future, I don't know yet if I'll go out on the ice," Fedorov said.
You looked very good on the ice...
"Thank you, but I want to say that I was playing at altitude, and I still got sick."
And he strongly hinted to Afinogentov that this will be his professional farewell:
Apparently, you've been preparing for the tournament in Davos.
"Yes, twelve weeks of training. If you want to play at this leve, you can't not prepare to return to the ice after a year and a half (of retirement). It's too much to go out there and show something without working out. But it worked. Thanks to John (CSKA coach John Torchetti--AA's note), that he gave me this opportunity to play in a full game.
Why did you choose to return at the Spengler Cup?
"It's a commercial tournament, so you can give someone a break from playing, and for myself, I get to play. It's less risky for the team."
Do you plan to play in games in the KHL?
"To be honest, I would like to play in the KHL. But my management group sees the situation differently. They hired me as a manager and gave me this job. Their position is that I should do the work that I committed myself to. It's a big responsibility. I share the opinion that I'm in a leadership position. But playing is still desirable for me."
I'm not sure if the Spengler Cup counts as playing pro hockey as it is a promotional tournament that doesn't count in anyone's regular season standings, but the Hockey Hall of Fame's rules state that players have to have not played professional hockey for three seasons (Fedorov retired after playing during the 2011-2012 season for Metallurg Magnitogorsk), so this swan song will probably delay Fedorov's induction for another three years.
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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.