Реклама в Интернет * Все Кулички

Rambler's Top100

13 февраля 2001 года.
The Wings’ Fedorov is having one of his most productive seasons // Detroit Free Press 

His growing maturity has made him a ... resurgent Sergei  

This is the Sergei Fedorov the Red Wings need. The Fedorov who carries the puck and outskates everyone else, who flies solo into the opponent's zone and scores. The Fedorov whose feet might be slower than seven years ago but whose shot is harder and mind stronger.  
Fedorov is having his best season in ages, one borne partly from a modified conditioning regimen and partly from maturity. At 31, he realizes he won't ever be a lone superstar on a team like the Wings -- because they have so many stars. Instead, he has discovered how to make the most of the 22 minutes per game he averages on the ice, and how to do so consistently.  
He leads the team with 25 goals and 53 points in 57 games. He was an All-Star this season for the first time since 1996.  
And this, his teammates need.  
Surviving the Western Conference playoff race likely will be tougher than in the past two seasons, when the Wings were eliminated in the second round, and Fedorov's talent enables him to change the outcome of a game. This season, the Wings have won 60 percent of their games when Fedorov has scored, and they have gotten at least a point in 90 percent of those games.  
"He's played very well," said captain Steve Yzerman, who has played alongside Fedorov for going on 11 seasons. "He got off to a good start and has continued with that. He's been real -- I don't want to say solid because that's understating it -- but for what expectations are of him, he's been very good."  
With skills that place him among the elite in the NHL, expectations always have been high. Astronomical, even, after Fedorov looted the league's awards show following his 56-goal, 120-point season in 1993-94. But since then expectations and reality at times have diverged widely, which is why this season is such pleasant news.  

A world-class player  
After last season, Fedorov noticed that he needed more time to recover after games. So he started lifting weights more often, tuning his body as a whole instead of as parts.  
"Conditioning is very important part of my game these days," Fedorov said. "In the past I was paying attention to my wrists, my stomach, my sides. These days I'm looking at overall my body and take care of it on regular basis."  
His equipment has been overhauled as well. Fedorov is using one of the new graphite stick blades and has gone up five points in the stiffness of the shaft he uses, which has made for a powerful impact. At the All-Star Game skills competition, his shot was timed at better than 100 m.p.h.  
"He's able to beat goalies from a distance," coach Scotty Bowman said. "He's shooting more, and that comes from the confidence he can beat goalies from a ways out. His shot is in the upper echelon of players in this league now."  
But the biggest change in his game stems from acceptance. He used to swear that he could play his best hockey only when he spent at least 28 minutes on the ice. Given less, he appeared at times to sulk and float. This season, he has crammed offense and defense into the 21:47 he averages. He has paid close attention to exactly what it is Bowman wants from a top player.  
"I'm more cautious out there of what I'm doing," Fedorov said. "I'm thinking why coaches think I'm not doing what they like to see me do. So I think I learn that, and that makes my game a little more disciplined, more aggressive."  
It has made his game even more dangerous and has placed him among the top 23 scorers in the league. He is a lock to be among the eight members of the Russian Olympic hockey team that are supposed to be announced by March 25. He is the scourge of opponents.  
"He's one of the great open-ice players of the game," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. "Before games, we spend time discussing what he likes to do, how he likes to attack on certain sides, how he likes to overhandle the puck sometimes.... We have to get good angles on him and take his room away."  
Try telling that one to the Ottawa Senators. Last Tuesday, Fedorov dashed into their zone without a single teammate after taking a pass from Doug Brown. Fedorov tiptoed around Karel Rachunek and cut across to slide the puck by goalie Patrick Lalime. Six Senators couldn't stop him.  
"It was the kind of goal that's hard to do because he had to beat the defenseman," Bowman said. "It was a highlight goal."  
It was the kind of goal few players can make happen. And one that Fedorov at one point wondered if he ever would score in a Wings uniform.  

The toughest year  
In the past year, Fedorov has donated about $15,000 to set up a closed-circuit room at Children's Hospital of Michigan. He spent time there the day it opened, chatting with children and answering questions about hockey. He already had spent $10,000 to help buy presents for the hospital's Snow Pile program. Fedorov also has sent $125,000 worth of hockey equipment to Moscow. He is helping Morozov's Children's Hospital in Moscow acquire a dialysis machine.  
All that has been done without press releases, without fanfare. And this from a guy who could use the prestige after the contract dispute that kept him out of circulation for all but 21 games three years ago.  
Fedorov's contract expired after he helped the Wings end a 42-year drought by winning the Stanley Cup on June 6, 1997. A summer of fruitless negotiating blossomed into autumn, and then winter. Fedorov was portrayed as wanting an inordinate amount of money and was criticized publicly by his Russian teammates for not accompanying them when they took the Cup to Russia for the first time. All sides have since made up, and Fedorov, for his part, put it down to miscommunication.  
The bigger test lay in the coming months. He often wondered why his team no longer wanted him. He had defected from Russia to play for the Wings, and he had helped them win a championship. Why didn't they want him back?  
"It was an ocean of emotions, feelings, thoughts -- things that never occurred in my hockey life ever before," Fedorov said. "And it was not easy being out there by yourself."  
Brown, a friend, teammate, even something of a mentor, tried to help.  
"I think at first he thought it was a personal insult," Brown said. "He felt Detroit was his home and he was concerned things weren't done early. I tried to give him the point of view just because it hasn't worked out yet, don't think it's not going to, because that's just big-time business with big-time players."  
During the Nagano Olympics in February 1998, Fedorov signed a six-year, $38-million offer sheet with the Carolina Hurricanes that would have netted him $28 million if the team won the Cup that year.  
Publicly, he said he never would play for the Wings again.  
Privately, he wondered if he could play for anyone else.  
"I was trying to think, what if, what if, but honest truth, I never like to see myself somewhere else," he said. "Because this is it, you know? I defect, I live on the edge for a few years, I get my best seasons under this coaching staff, I know all the guys, I've played with Steve for so long ...it's meant to me a lot. And that's why I never really feel comfortable even physically to think about that.  
"When I said I'd never play here again, you have to remember those nine months. With huge disappointment I realize they're not going to give me chance to play for this team again because of the business. I took it pretty hard."  
Within a week, the Wings matched the offer sheet and kept Fedorov. Four months later, another Stanley Cup party rocked the city.  

All about Anna  
Since the Wings won the Cup in '97, Fedorov has been noticed for a reason besides hockey: his friendship with tennis star Anna Kournikova, 19. Together with other players' families and friends, she waited for him in the locker room after they clinched the championship with a 2-1 victory over Philadelphia. The following week she sat next to him in a car as the Wings paraded down Woodward Avenue in front of a million people. She attends Red Wing games regularly.  
Fedorov and Kournikova, who got engaged when she turned 18 in the summer of 1999, have reaped considerable attention for their relationship. She is a mainstay among the top 20 players on the women's tennis tour, and her multiple endorsements have helped make hers a familiar face. Photogenic, to say the least, she is known as much for her looks as for her tennis.  
And Fedorov hasn't gone unscathed by the media attention. People close to him acknowledge that he and Kournikova are engaged, but he doesn't want to talk about it. It has been a well-kept secret.  
The scrutiny reached a nadir last February, when news broke out of Miami that Kournikova had accepted a marriage proposal from Florida Panthers star Pavel Bure, a teammate of Fedorov's when they were teenagers. Fedorov was portrayed in the media as having been cuckolded, but he kept quiet. A few days later he visited Kournikova at a tournament in Scottsdale, Ariz. They straightened out their relationship and are still engaged, but the incident left a skid mark on Fedorov.  
"I'm not a machine, I'm a human being," Fedorov said. "It is hard to go through when somebody tries to mess up your life. Looking at all those reactions from all those people who have absolutely no idea what's going on and trying to make opinion.... None of the actual people involved, at least me or Anna, said anything about it. Absolutely nothing. So I don't know how people can judge, but that tells me people sometimes are blind, they just want to take a shot.  
"But you know what? On positive side, it obviously has shown me who is really my friend. So that makes life much easier right now."  
Kournikova and Fedorov see each other as often as possible, though her almost year-round schedule, much of it taking place abroad, doesn't make that easy. Fedorov tries to attend as many tournaments with her during his off-season, making it to the French Open and Wimbledon last summer. At times, he even serves as her practice partner.  
"I like to say I have my moments on tennis court where I really play well," he said.  
"But it's a very tough game for me because I'm built for hockey, not tennis. When we play, she gives me at least three shots over the net and then she goes for winners. I have no chance." 

In prime of career  
Fedorov was 25 when he shot to the top of the league. In 1994 he became the first European to win the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player. He also won the Selke Award as the best defensive forward, the Lester B. Pearson as the most outstanding player, and was almost every hockey magazine's player of the year.  
He thrived as Yzerman missed a large chunk of the season because of a knee injury, and Yzerman's return to the lineup was bound to affect how much Fedorov played. But few could have predicted the downswing in the ensuing seasons.  
"I think people had reasonable expectations to think I could do it again," Fedorov said. "That's why I was very frustrated and very disappointed in myself when next season, next season, next season, I didn't do anything except just have low points in my career every season I play.  
"I played so much that year, and I was really pumped up for myself to play again. It was my thing, I love it, I've done it, and I think I can do it again and again. But hockey is a team game, period. We have quite a few great players on this team, and it's never going to be designed for one player. It sounds like I'm talking about me, me, me, but I'm trying to explain and tell you what I've realized.  
"I was sad I cannot do it again. But then I settle down, settle down and look inside of me and realize, hey, things may not go that way, we can try something new. It took me awhile to adjust and play well again."  
He is again a game-breaker, a player who can create a goal out of nothing. There's more consistency to his game; even when he doesn't produce, he is always strong on defense. At the top of his game, skating with the puck, he dazzles. "He is," Yzerman said, "kind of the ace up our sleeve."  
He is the ace the Red Wings need. 

Страничка Сергея Фёдорова на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


15 ноября. Сергей Федоров: из «могучих уток» в «синие жакеты».

3 октября. Сергей Федоров: "Мне опять 21" - Спорт-Экспресс

12 июня. Уживется ли Федоров-средний с Браяном Бурком?

25 июля. Сергей Федоров: "Нам все отрезали и обрубили" - Спорт-Экспресс

22 февраля. Сергей Федоров: "Ностальгия по России есть. Ностальгии по хоккею нет" - Спорт-Экспресс.

15 декабря. Сергей Федоров: "Был готов отдать Бэттмэну $2.000.000. Не помогло" - Спорт-Экспресс

14 декабря. Сергей Федоров: Больше волосы не крашу - "Советский Спорт"

11 декабря. Центрфорвард «Анахайма» Сергей Федоров: Хочу играть в России. Но не могу // "Советский Спорт"

13 августа. Федоров, Буре-младший официально отказались от участия на Кубке Мира. 

5 марта. Сергей Федоров - "Вскоре буду выбирать между Суперлигой и ВХА" - Спорт-Экспресс


"ЗВЁЗДЫ С ВОСТОКА" @ c 1997 года