Fedorov baffled by the money game
DETROIT (AP) -- Sergei Fedorov has played hockey for 100 rubles.
Now he's playing for $38 million. But Fedorov says the pay doesn't make
any difference when he's on the ice: The game is the thing.
Fedorov missed most of the NHL season in a contract dispute with
the Red Wings that ended Thursday when Detroit matched the Carolina Hurricanes'
six-year, $38 million contract offer to the holdout forward.
The 28-year-old practiced with the team Friday and drew more
boos than cheers when he took the ice against the Florida Panthers that
night. He was not a significant factor in Detroit's 3-1 win.
Fedorov said he realizes the money is a problem for many fans.
And even he has difficulty comprehending the big numbers.
"How much is enough? That's the question," Fedorov said. "Money
and dollar signs don't make sense to me. Believe me, in this world, in
North America, money means something after you get off the ice, and you
go do your things.
"When you're on the ice, it's never really the thing. I've played
for 100 rubles. But it's a big sum, no question. I understand that."
Those 100 Russian rubles may fetch about $17 on the international
exchange. His current contract includes a $14 million signing bonus.
"I'll probably just put it away, invest it somewhere," Fedorov
said. "Make it work for me when I am done. Plus, I have my parents and
my brother. I like to support them as much as I can."
Fedorov said he is eager to regain favor with the fans.
"I want to get all of them back," he said. "It's so important
because they are the people who watch. The communication goes both ways.
They support the team so much. Fans all over the world are nice, but these
are the fans you want, the ones in Detroit.
"They brought us up to the next level. Like I said, they're entitled
to their own opinion because they pay big bucks to see this show."
He said the fans are not the only ones with whom he has strained
Fellow Russians Igor Larionov, Vyacheslav Fetisov and Vyacheslav
Kozlov criticized him during the holdout.
"We're all grownups, I guess," he said. "I just wish for one
minute they could not have made those comments public. Then everything
now would be normal. I guess it will take some time. But it will eventually
come back to normal."