Thread: Sergei Fedorov
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11-08-2012, 02:45 AM
Morgoth Bauglir
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
Well, let's be fair here. First of all, Joe Sakic did the exact same thing (hold out for more money, which resulted in him signing that offer sheet with the Rangers in '97), but never has that held against him at all. But if you didn't like that, surely you did like when Fedorov donated his entire '98/99 base salary to create a foundation in his name to help Detroit area kids. Probably didn't know that one, huh.

Keep in mind, he actually accepted less money in the end to join Anaheim because of how he felt he was being treated by management in Detroit over the years. He didn't go for more money, he went for less. Knowing that, maybe there is a reason why there were a couple of episodes where he didn't seem willing to toss everything aside and be the best team guy possible. I think he was even slandered publicly as "not a team guy like Yzerman". Bottom line is, though, that right or wrong, he felt like he wasn't being treated like everyone else at a couple of points along the way in Detroit. Also remember that he was defrauded of around $60 million over an 11 year period of his career by that Zada guy (which I don't think he was ever able to recover, despite the court's decision), and who knows how much money issues came up with him over the years. Seems like he had it rougher in this regard than anyone that normally draws character/skill/calibre comparisons.

Heck, people also seem to forget the times when he showed incredible commitment to his team. He actually refused selection to the Olympic team in Italy because he was focused on getting back all the way to 100% healthy with the Blue Jackets (link). Another oft forgotten Fedorov tidbit, when talking about his skills, is that he once clocked the hardest shot in the league at the all-star game - while in his 30s - at 101.5 mph. One of the best skaters, one of the best shots, one of the best 2-way games... he was pretty damn good.

In a 2009 interview, Scotty Bowman recalled a conversation between Gretzky and him: "I talked to Wayne Gretzky about that six or seven years ago and he said to me: 'I couldn't play forward and defence. Mario couldn't do it. Jagr couldn't play defense. But Sergei could. He was a hell of a player'."

That's not tire pumping in the media after a game or series, or the like, either. That's just Wayne Gretzky talking to Scotty Bowman, and us hearing about it years later.
Is this the same Wayne Gretzky that has about a hundred guys who were "The Best Player I Ever Played Against"?

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