13 декабря. Larionov reflects with fondness
in return to Joe // Detroit Free Press
BY HELENE ST. JAMES FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER
There was maybe a moment of hesitation as he pondered what should come
first. Igor Larionov has so many good memories of his days in Detroit,
and he had to decide where to begin.
"The Russian Five of course, the way we played -- it was indescribable
to see that game," Larionov said, his head tilted slightly. "It was very
Larionov reflected on his five seasons with the Red Wings when his old
team played his new one, the Florida Panthers, this month. Tonight Larionov
returns to Joe Louis Arena for the first time since an unpleasant contract
dispute prompted him to switch teams.
He paused briefly as he let develop the memory of the Russian Five,
when together with Sergei Fedorov, Slava Kozlov, Slava Fetisov and Vladimir
Konstantinov, he formed one of the Wings' all-time greatest units.
Then, the words tumbled out. His voice grew more emotional as he remembered
the long night of June 13, 1997. Six days after the Wings' first Stanley
Cup championship in 42 years, Konstantinov, masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov
and Fetisov were injured in a devastating limousine accident.
"The 62-win season. Two Stanley Cups. The car accident. When all the
city supported those guys, when I saw the people spending the night outside
the hospital, wishing the guys to get well, that was amazing," Larionov
said. "Hard to forget that. The group of people who were playing on those
teams, all that stuff.
"It's a highlight."
Florida has been anything but.
A good training camp segued into a tempestuous start as Larionov struggled
centering All-Star right wing Pavel Bure. By the time he suffered a hip
flexor 12 games into the season, he had seven points and was a minus-3.
Florida's coach, Terry Murray, suggested Larionov might have felt too great
"Igor, I think, was pressing a little bit," Murray said. "I think he
felt a lot of responsibility to get that win and maybe tried to really
force things in the offensive part of the game, and it just wasn't happening.
Then the injury happened."
He returned after four weeks. At that point, Murray demoted Larionov
to the fourth line because of his unwillingness to dump the puck. But that's
a style Larionov, one of the game's best passers ever, said he never has
played, and that isn't going to change at age 40.
He enters tonight with four goals, nine points and a minus-8, his team
with five victories in 28 games.
Larionov was loath to talk about his decision to leave Detroit, saying
it was in the past. He offered a smile instead. "I made the right choice,"
It was a decision finalized last July 1, when he signed a one-year deal
for $1.8 million, with a club option for a second year at $2 million. If
the Panthers decline the second year, Larionov gets a $200,000 severance
His tenure with the Wings began unraveling last January when general
manager Ken Holland adjourned negotiations five weeks after offering a
two-year, $4-million contract. A month later Holland offered a second deal,
for one year at roughly the same $1.7 million Larionov made last season;
Larionov's side answered with silence. Holland tendered a third deal in
mid-June, then granted Larionov's request that he be allowed to shop himself
around before the start of free agency.
"We did try to keep him and would have preferred he stay with us," Holland
said Tuesday. "He played an important role in us winning two championships,
and he, together with the Russian Five, had a large role in the style of
play we use today -- the puck possession, the cycling, the give-and-go."
Though Larionov has torn his roots from the area, he remains a favorite
among his old teammates.
"He was my roommate on the road and we spent a lot of times together,"
Kozlov said. "He gave me lots of good advice, he helped me a lot. He always
made stories about when he played for Red Army national team. We had fun
together. He was a very generous guy."
Captain Steve Yzerman said: "He was a popular player on our team and
fit in well. I was a little surprised, a little disappointed that he left,
that that happened. He was a good teammate, a real good guy."
A good memory.
28 декабря. Игорь Ларионов
возвращается в Детройт.
Не прошло ещё и 6 месяцов после подписания Игорем Ларионовым многомиллионного
контракта со "Флоридой Пэнторс", а его путь снова лежит в Детройт. Сегодня
"Пэнтерс" обменяли 40-летнего центрального российского нападающего на 24-летнего
защитника Яна Голубовского.
Скажем прямо, игра у Ларионова во Флориде не пошла, чему способстовавали
травмы, нервозные действия тренеров и провал команды начала сезона. После
2-х месяцев с начала чемпионата, Игорь, которому прочили место в первом
звене вместе с Павлом Буре, стал появляться во вторых и третьях тройках.
В 26 сыгранных матчах за команду из Майами, Ларионов забросил 5 шайб и
сделал 6 голевых передач.
Ларионов возвращается в "Рэд Уинз", в составе которых он в 1997 и в
1998 годах становился обладателем Кубка Стэнли. Всего на сегодняшний день
Игорь провёл в НХЛ 689 игр, забросив 143 шайбы и сделав 375 голевых передач,
из них в Детройте с 1995 по 2000 года 356 матчей, 64 гола, 218 передач,
Ян Голубовский не появлялся в составе "Рэд Уинз" в текущем сезоне. В
22 играх за команду из Цинциннати в АХЛ на его счету 4 гола и 4 результативные
29 декабря. Larionov finally
had enough in Fla. // Detroit Free Press
BY NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER
The Igor Larionov deal was in the works for a while but finished in
of activity Wednesday and Thursday.
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland approached Florida GM Bryan Murray
on Dec. 13, when Florida played at Joe Louis Arena. Murray then approached
Larionov, who had a no-trade clause in his contract.
Initially, Larionov told Murray he wouldn't accept a trade back to the
"When I talked to Bryan, it was not an easy situation for me," Larionov
said. "I had just gotten settled. I had sold my house in Detroit. I was
shocked by the news that Detroit was trying to find out if I was available.
"I told him no, because my kids were in school, and now I'm more concerned
about my family. But when I got back home, I sat down and talked with my
wife, and we went over options."
Larionov decided to consider a trade while the NHL froze rosters from
Dec. 19 through Wednesday. Then Larionov, who feuded with Florida
coach Terry Murray, found he wasn't going to play Wednesday night
"I called Don Baizley and told him, 'That's enough,' " Larionov said
agent. "The team has been losing. My situation on the team wasn't
consistent. Some games I was playing 20 minutes, 17 minutes. Some
games I was playing seven, eight minutes. No explanation. No reason."
Because the roster freeze didn't lift until midnight, Holland and Bryan
Murray couldn't close the deal before Thursday morning. Holland spoke
to him briefly at that time, but then all heck broke loose.
"Bryan said he'd get back to me," Holland said. "I think somewhere in
time frame, Bryan spoke to Bill Torrey and found out that he was relieved
of his duties. Then Chuck Fletcher called me and said he and Bill Torrey
were running the team and they wanted to proceed with the deal."
Torrey is the Panthers' president, Fletcher the assistant general manager.
Panthers forward Pavel Bure called Larionov and told him Torrey had
fired the Murray brothers, but Larionov stuck by his decision.
"I have no regrets," Larionov said. "As long as the Wings want me back,
I'm excited. It looks like (the family is) excited to go back home