The Red Wings of the mid-to-late 90s were always known for their array of Russian superstar players. If you don’t recall the “Russian Five” of Sergei Fedorov, Igor Larionov, Vyacheslav Fetisov, Slava Kozlov, and Vladimir Konstantinov you missed out some of the most skillful hockey the NHL saw at the time.
The good news for you is that you’ll get to see them one more time. Four out of those five will be participating in the 2013 Winter Classic alumni game on December 31. The lone member of the Russian quintet not yet appearing is Kozlov who is still playing professionally in the KHL after leaving the NHL after the 2009-10 season.
Konstantinov, who was paralyzed in a car accident following the Red Wings’ 1997 Stanley Cup championship, is expected to be an ambassador for the game and won’t be playing. As for Fedorov, Larionov, and Fetisov — expect to see them suiting up against the Maple Leafs alumni.
With Scotty Bowman set to coach the Red Wings alumni, maybe we’ll get to relive the old days and see Bowman have Fedorov play defense as well as forward all over again.
If you didn’t get to experience what the “Russian Five” was like during their time in Motor City, the Red Wings put this video together to remind everyone how great they were.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.