|Former Red Wings forward Sergei Fedorov was a member of the 59th class inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. A member of the Russian Five, Fedorov spent 13 seasons in Detroit and won three Stanley Cups. (Photo by Craig Peterson/Detroit Red Wings)
DETROIT — On Thursday, former Red Wings forward Sergei Fedorov was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame 11 seasons after wearing the winged wheel. Fedorov made the return to Michigan from his native Russia to partake in the evening’s festivities.
Fedorov, who played 18 seasons in the NHL and six seasons in the KHL as a player and general manager, was accompanied by Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo and former Cincinnati Reds, University of Michigan shortstop and Baseball Hall of Famer Barry Larkin. Also joining the group was former Detroit Lions lineman Doug English, Olympic swimmer and pentathlete Sheila Taormina and pro bowler Aleta Sill. The six members combined to form the 59th class inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.
“Unbelievable, I’m very honored,” Fedorov said. “When I heard the news, I didn’t know what to expect or what to say, really. I started thinking about what really just happened and it’s close to my heart because I still live in Michigan, I played here and we won together. I cannot say enough about fans. They treated us, they helped us push through tough times.”
Fedorov had plenty of Wings supporters on hand to welcome his induction as fellow MSHOF members Ted Lindsay and Mark Howe were in attendance.
“I’ve always said and still say to this day, that in my 22 professional years as a hockey player, Sergei Fedorov was absolutely the best skater I ever saw,” Howe said. “Every aspect of skating whether it be speed, balance, endurance, quickness, agility, lateral movement. He was a 10 in every single one of them. I know my last year in ’95, it was an absolute pleasure to be in that locker room every day and watch him play.”
Howe played three seasons with Fedorov in Detroit from 1992 to 1995 and joined the Russian on stage to welcome him into the hall of fame. Another one of Fedorov’s teammates and former Red Wing Chris Chelios was also in attendance to support his friend.
“I’m really close with Sergei, we lived near each other, I spent a lot of time with him,” Chelios said. “Obviously, he’s one of the best Red Wings ever. He had a real unique thing about him that he played all positions and just a real different type of stride. He was so smooth and was a great player to watch and teammate too.”
Fedorov played 908 games, scoring 400 goals and 954 points playing for the Wings from 1990 to 2003. Known as a member of the Russian Five, Fedorov won three Stanley Cups in Detroit in 1997, 1998 and 2002.
“Well his legacy is that he was a great player,” general manager Ken Holland said. “I don’t think we win the Cup in ’97 if he’s not on the team. He was one of the core group of players that led us to the Stanley Cup in ’97 and backed it up in ’98. Again, I think Sergei along with the other four Russians — the Russian Five — really played a style of hockey that was fun to watch and that the rest of our team started to play a puck possession style of game. I think his legacy is he’s one of the great players in Red Wings history and a great player in the National Hockey League.”
Fedorov became the 24th member of the Red Wings’ organization to join the MSHOF, which inducted Nicklas Lidstrom last year, legendary coach Jack Adams (1955); Gordie Howe (1957); Ted Lindsay (1966); Sid Abel (1967); Ebbie Goodfellow (1968); Terry Sawchuk (1974); James Norris (1976); Alex Delvecchio (1977); Bill Gadsby (1986); Budd Lynch (1994); Red Berenson and Bruce Martyn (1996); Red Kelly (1998); Scotty Bowman (1999); Jack Stewart (2000); Mike Ilitch (2004); Jimmy Devellano (2006); Norm Ullman and Steve Yzerman (2007); Marian Ilitch (2010); Marcel Pronovost (2012; and Mark Howe (2013).