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Could Sergei Fedorov become an NHL GM, somewhere, someday? I suppose so..

I usually take a short nap before games (the life of a blogger does not involve more than five or six consecutive hours of sleep at a time), but a little booger-related tossing and turning had me thinking about this quip from Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, at the start of his weekly 30 Thoughts column:

[Sergei] Fedorov has two years remaining on his contract as general manager of CSKA Moscow in the KHL. The “Red Army” (as we knew them in North America) was the dominant force in Russian hockey through the Soviet era, culminating its run with 13 championships in a row from 1977 to 1989.

The fall of the Iron Curtain brought a fall in its influence, as the organization floundered and ceased to be an on-ice success. That continued after the formation of the KHL, since CSKA Moscow is the owner of just two playoff wins in six seasons.

Things are changing, however. CSKA currently stands No. 1 in the KHL, with 132 points in 56 games. (Regulation wins are worth three points.) Fedorov hired John Torchetti — now back with the AHL’s Iowa Wild — as coach last season, a move that stabilized things and set a foundation for the future.

Friedman asked Fedorov if he'd jump at the chance to become an NHL GM when his contract expires, and this is the answer he received:

“The blind answer is yes, I would like to do it,” Fedorov says. “But it is still some time away.”

As mentioned, he has term remaining on his contract and he stresses he has not talked to any NHL team about it. There is also unfinished business in Russia, including a championship and a stabilized KHL. (He believes a stronger partnership with the NHL is essential and does not like to interfere in North American contract disputes.)

Most importantly, he recognizes an NHL GM job is not one step away.

“It would be inappropriate for me to come right to that position. I would need to be an assistant, to learn. The job is different in the NHL than it is in the KHL. But, there is still some time before this can happen. We will see if the stars align,” he laughs.

Friedman continued, and while Jarmo Kekalainen's already broken the European GM barrier, I'm not sure that Fedorov needs to leave CSKA, the hallowed Central Red Army Sports Club, to work with a nearly-NHL-sized budget, NHL-level media presence or a mandate from none less than state-owned oil and natural gas giant Rosneft, the team's sponsor, and Vladimir Putin's request to restore the luster of Moscow's hockey majesty, as more than enough pressure to test the most hardened sports manager.

Sergei's got a fantastic job, he skates with the team to stay in shape and nobody bats an eyelash when he does, and at 44, he's still very young by managerial standards. He could very well become an NHL team's general manger--or, for example, go to work for an NHL team like the Red Wings to learn the ropes from a Ken Holland, given that Fedorov maintains his off-season residence in Michigan, where his mom lives year-round--but he's doing pretty dang well where he is right now.

The only team that has more prestige right now in the KHL is SKA St. Petersburg as it's run by league sponsor Gazprom Export's chairman of the board, Alexander Medvedev, and owned by a pair of people on the UN Sanctions list in Arkady and Roman Rotenberg, but historically speaking, CSKA was the New York Yankees of Russian hockey.

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Comments

Figaro's avatar

If Nonis can be a GM in this league, so can Sergei.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 02/19/15 at 02:21 AM ET

Jaromir Blogger's avatar

I would love to have Fedorov back in the NHL in some capacity.

Posted by Jaromir Blogger on 02/19/15 at 06:41 AM ET

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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.