From One Sergei to Another: An Ode to the Greatest Russian NHLer of All Time

Sergei MiledinAnalyst INovember 15, 2016

On Saturday night, Sergei Fedorov scored the 474th and 475th goals of his career, making him the all-time leader for a Russian-born player in the NHL.

He passed his former CSKA Moscow teammate Alexander Mogilny, who retired with 473 goals.

Fedorov now owns all three major offensive statistics for a Russian player, already having the most assists (678) and points (1153). This makes the Pskov native Toronto-bound when he finally decides to hang up the skates on his nostalgic career.

Prior to coming the NHL, Fedorov, Mogilny, and Pavel Bure played on the same line at CSKA, and all entered the NHL around the same time. In 1990, while in Seattle with CSKA, Fedorov left his team's hotel and boarded a plane for Detroit, where he would sign with the Red Wings. He was among the many Russians who defected from the Soviet Union to the much-coveted NHL.

In his first four seasons in Hockey Town, Fedorov would score more points than he had the previous year, including 120 in 1993-94. This earned him the Hart Memorial Trophy, Lester B. Pearson Award, and Frank J. Selke Trophy in the said season. He was the first European player to win all three, as well as the first Russian.

He would reclaim the Selke one more time in 1996, in a season which saw him eclipse 100 points once again, this time with 107.  While in Detroit, he was utilized on the blue line as well as up front, making him the perfect package for any coach. Former coach Scotty Bowman believed Fedorov was capable of winning the Norris Trophy, having displayed as much skill defensively as he had offensively.

In his 13-year tenure with the Wings, Fedorov would score 400 goals, assist on 554 others, leaving Motown with 954 points, and making him fourth all-time in Wings history. He would also be nominated to six All-Star teams and be an essential part of three Stanley Cups won by Detroit.

Fedorov left for warmer pastures, signing a four-year, $40 million contract with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, where he would only stay for two seasons, playing in a mere 85 games.

Thanks to injury, Fedorov only scored 32 goals for his new team until he was traded to Columbus. He would spend three seasons with the Blue Jackets, where his point total dropped yearly and his name vanished quickly.

Fedorov was traded again in 2008, this time to the Washington Capitals, placing him together with young guns and fellow countrymen Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Semin. Despite only playing in 18 games, Fedorov was able to rack up 11 points and become a leader, as the Capitals clinched their first playoff appearance since 2003.

On a national level, Fedorov has donned his Russian National Jersey 51 times, putting up an impressive 47 points and 48 penalty minutes. In 2008, he would end his six-year drought of international competition by helping Russia win the gold medal in the IHHF World Championship for the first time in 15 years.

There is no doubt that Sergei Fedorov is arguably the greatest Russian player ever to lace up a pair of skates, and his invitation to the Hall of Fame will be waiting for him as soon as he retires. Hopefully he has enough gas in the tank for one final hurrah and a shot at glory.