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Former Red Wings Fedorov Admires Work of Larionov

Russian Five members are top KHL coaches

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Sergei Fedorov, Detroit Red Wings
Sergei Fedorov admires the coaching acumen of his old Red Wings teammate Igor Larionov.

They were 40% of the Russian Five during their time with the Detroit Red Wings and the mutual respect between Sergei Fedorov and Igor Larionov hasn’t waned in the years since they left Detroit.

Both former Red Wings are now coaching in the KHL and are proving to be just as adept at teaching the game as they were playing hockey. Fedorov, the 1993-94 winner of the Hart Trophy as MVP of the NHL, has guided CSKA Moscow to the past two Gagarin Cup titles as champions of the KHL.

Larionov joined him in working behind a KHL bench last season, taking over as coach of Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod. In Larionov’s first season, he would guide a group of young, out of favor players to a fourth-place finish in the KHL Western Conference. Torpedo would reach the second round of the playoffs.

“I think that Igor succeeded in everything,” Fedorov told Russian website Kp.ru. “He discovered the versatility of those young players who ended up in the Torpedo system. And the game that they showed, it was difficult to play against them.

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“I think in one season, in one preseason, the team made a lot of progress. Many players were not well known. But I understand that the team has climbed very, very high in terms of the level of play and dedication, and their results are quite logical for me.”

Fedorov Backing Ovechkin To Be Greater Scorer Than Great One

Fedorov was also offering the opinion that another one of his former teammates will soon be the greatest NHL goal scorer of them all. He’s of the belief that Washington Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin will overtake Wayne Gretzky for top spot on the NHL’s all-time goal scoring list.

Currently, Ovechkin, 37, is sitting with 822 NHL regular-season goals. Gretzky scored a record 894 goals between 1979-99.

“You know, if you could look ahead, everyone would do it,” Fedorov told Kp.ru. “My answer is this. I want to wish Sasha good health, self-confidence, great support from his loving family. And everything else is secondary. But what you asked me, I think it will happen.”

Ovechkin and Fedorov were Capitals teammates from 2008-09.