- The Washington Times - Friday, April 17, 2009

When he played 14 minutes, 54 seconds of the Washington Capitals’ loss to the New York Rangers on Wednesday, Sergei Fedorov began his 15th postseason since coming to the NHL in 1990. The 39-year-old Russian is the only Stanley Cup winner in the Capitals’ locker room.


In the late 1980s, Fedorov played on a line with future NHL stars Pavel Bure and Alexander Mogilny. The trio has combined to score 1,393 goals.

Fedorov’s take: “Those guys were amazing. Unbelievable hockey players. We had the whole makeup - speed, hands, whatever. Times were changing and nobody was really paying attention to the hockey, so we had to leave and find our own destiny. Alex was the first one to come here, and he did a lot for us because he scored a lot of goals and was an unbelievable sniper in Buffalo.”


Detroit selected Fedorov with its fourth-round choice (74th overall) in the draft.

Fedorov’s take: “I had no idea what the draft was or what it meant to be drafted by a club. We were so secluded. I got a letter from the vice president of the Detroit Red Wings - Jim Lites - and it said they would like to see me in a Red Wings uniform one day. Somehow, I got it translated with the help of my close friends.”


Fedorov went straight from CSKA Moscow to the Red Wings, posting 31 goals and 79 points in his rookie season. He defected when his team was playing an exhibition game in Portland, Ore., before the Goodwill Games.

Fedorov’s take: “Right after the game, I had to go. Time was up. When you’re 20, you’re excited more than it’s nerve-racking. They really took care of me. Three weeks later, I had a Corvette. It was a dream come true. I exchanged my Russian license for a Michigan one - it was a lot easier back then - and the $100,000 signing bonus was pretty good, too. I thought, ‘I’m rich.’ … They gave me [No.] 91. I didn’t know that was supposed to be a junior or minor player. I took it because [Mogilny] took 89 because that was the year he defected and my year was 90 but I didn’t like 0. Everybody tried to compare me to Stevie [Yzerman] because he was 19.”


The Red Wings ended their 42-year Stanley Cup drought, sweeping Philadelphia for the title. Fedorov scored 20 points in 20 playoff games. They also won Cups in 1998 and 2002.

Fedorov’s take: “The first Cup was certainly the most difficult one. It was kind of nerve-racking. The second Cup, we had pretty much the same team, and then we really got tired during the third, fourth and fifth years and then won in 2002. We had to recharge our batteries for that third Cup.”


Fedorov missed a large portion of the 1997-98 season in a contract holdout. He signed an offer sheet with Carolina that the Red Wings matched. When they won the Cup, Fedorov’s salary jumped to $28 million.

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