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Tuesday February 16, 2010 12:16 pm

Fedorov back in North America for swan song




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Editorial, NHL, Olympics,

Sergei FedorovThe men’s hockey teams are through with their initial practices and are ready for the most anticipated event at the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. With 12 nations competing in the tournament, all of them have some sort of experience on the smaller “North American” ice surface. While Canada (and by extension, the US) have a distinct advantage, there are many international players who are more accustomed to the small rink size than others. One of those is certainly a legend on the Russian team, former NHLer Sergei Fedorov.

Fedorov has spent the better part of his hockey career – and life – in North America. He was selected by Detroit in the 1989 Entry Draft and played for 13 seasons with the Red Wings. Afterwards, he spent the next five seasons split between Anaheim, Columbus and Washington. He scored 483 goals and 1,179 points in 1,248 NHL games, and won the Hart Memorial, Frank J. Selke and Lester B. Pearson trophies in 1994, and the Selke Trophy again in 1996. He won three Stanley Cups with Detroit in 1997, 1998 and 2002.

After the 2008-09 season, Fedorov split from North America to play in the KHL for the Magnitogorsk Metallurg team. Now, at 40 years of age, Fedorov’s goal-scoring has dropped, but he’ll break from the season to once again represent his native land on the world’s largest stage. He won silver at the Olympics in Nagano and bronze in Salt Lake City. He’ll now try to become a member of the very exclusive group that have won a Stanley Cup, a World Cup and an Olympic gold. The group itself is less than two-dozen strong.

Fedorov will lead a younger Russian squad that hopes to capture gold. He will serve as a link to the past success of the Red Army and Soviet Union’s domination of hockey, as well as a mentor of sorts to the younger players like Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin. While Fedorov’s offensive prowess will certainly be diminished, but with his hockey knowledge and experience as intact as ever, the Russians just may prove why they’re the No. 1-ranked country in the world.

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