Former Detroit Red Wings star Sergei Fedorov’s hockey journey will continue with another new adventure. The Hockey Hall of Famer is taking over as coach of CSKA Moscow of the KHL. Fedorov is replacing Igor Nikitin behind the bench.
Fedorov began his senior-level playing career with CSKA Moscow in 1986. He has been working with CSKA since 2012. In 2013 he has been a member of the club’s supervisory board. He admitted in a 2013 interview that building a quality team in the KHL is perhaps more challenging than doing so in the NHL.
Sergei Fedorov has been named the new head coach of CSKA Moscow. pic.twitter.com/8RxPhjssFO
— KHL (@khl_eng) July 14, 2021
“It’s very interesting, but it’s different,” Fedorov said. “I like it, but it’s also hard to put a team together.
“It’s hard to get really good players. There’s not as many good players playing here as there are available to the NHL teams. There are a lot of leagues from which you can draw players in North America.”
Joined Red Wings in 1990
Fedorov shocked the hockey world when he defected to play for the Red Wings in 1990. He was in Seattle playing in the Goodwill Games when the Wings arranged to secret him away to a life in North America and a career in the NHL.
He was part of Detroit’s Stanley Cup winners in 1996-97, 1997-98 and 2001-02. Combining with Igor Larionov, Slava Fetisov. Slava Kozlov and Vladimir Konstantinov, the Russian Five unit played a significant role when the Wings ended a 42-year Stanley Cup drought in 1997.
In 1993-94, Fedorov became the first European born and trained player to win the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP. Fedorov was the first Russian NHL to collect 1,000 career points. He also won a pair Selke Trophies as the NHL’s top defensive forward and the Lester Pearson Award.
Fedorov played for the Wings from 1990-2003 prior to departing as an unrestricted free agent following acrimonious contract negotations that are believed to be playing a role in the fact that his No. 91 does not hang from the rafters in a place of honor at Little Caesars Arena.
The Russian star also sat out the first half of the 1997-98 NHL season in a contract dispute with the Wings. Eventually, Detroit was forced to match a six-year, $38-million offer sheet from the Carolina Hurricanes that included paying Fedorov a lump sum $14 millon bonus when Detroit reached the 1998 Stanley Cup conference finals.
Hall Of Fame Career
After leaving the Wings, Fedorov played for Fedorov played for the Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington Capitals before returning to Russia to finish his playing career in 2009. He was inducted into the HHOF in 2015. He is also recognized as an Honored Master of Sport in his native Russia.
Nikitin’s departure was sudden and surprising. He was about to enter the second year of a three-year contract signed in June of 2021. CKSA Moscow is coming off a first-place finish in the KHL’s Kharlamov Division, posting a 44-17 record.