For many years now, I have been engaged in an ongoing and rather frustrating debate over not just the value, but the greatness of the adroit Red Wing, Sergei Fedorov. I vividly remember weeping, like a child who had lost his favorite toy, when Sergei signed with the Ducks. Not one of my proudest moments, but at least I can admit it. Recently, I was told by a VERY reliable source, that the Red Wings are not interested in retiring #91 when he finally calls it a career. Their reason being since he was the one who left the team of his own volition, and the breakup was not pretty if you recall, why should he be honored in the same fashion that Yzerman was and Lidstrom will be? Despite my faith in the integrity of my sources, this is still hearsay. But regardless, hearing this infuriated me, being that Fedorov was my childhood hero and until this season, when I swore a new allegiance to Pavel Datsyuk by getting a rather fine looking “13” tattoo, my all time favorite player as well.
You may recall, that rumors were aplenty around the 2008 trade deadline, that Fedorov would be rejoining Detroit. The newspapers had his picture on the front page, making his return seem all but imminent. What did I see on the internet the next morning? “Fedorov traded to Capitals.” Crushed again, and the baby who lost his toy came wailing back. Speaking of infants, does it not seem a babyish reason to not retire the jersey of one of the organizations finest assets because after 13 seasons, he simply wanted a change of scenery? It certainly does to me. Now all of the reasons for Fedorov’s departure, and for the teams decision not to bring him back, if that is indeed how things went down, are still largely a mystery to those of us who are on the outside of the locker room, attempting to get a glimpse inside. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, however. Sergei Fedorov has many characteristics, and one of them is certainly mysteriousness.
I do some side work for a production company here in Denver, with some fellow Michiganders. One of them, a dear friend of mine, also counts Sergei as his childhood hero. It’s a bit of a pipe dream of ours to make a documentary about the reclusive Russian, mostly because we as fans feel that Sergei Fedorov the person, never was able to find a sympathetic and dedicated medium, to tell his side of the story that has been mostly hidden from us. This may or may not happen. I suppose this is the price for having a strong fondness for someone, even if you don’t know them personally. It can make one behave, less than rationally, I would call it. So I, and it may come as a surprise, but many others, firmly believe that #91 without question belongs in the rafters along side his fellow captains, and Red Wings of legend. We will not take no for an answer. Come home, Sergei.