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Shinma

Fedorov still upset about separation from Detroit.

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http://www.sport-express.ru/art.shtml?144360 (russian)

Translated interview with Elena Vaizekhovskaya from Sport-Express on 8/17/07:

Q: You so rarely visit Russia that the first question is obvious:

Do you think yourself to be Russian or American?

A: In my soul I am, of course, Russian. But I spent too long in America, and got used to a totally different life. In Russia, I feel that everything is kind of familiar, but still it takes a couple of weeks to adjust.

Q: It appears, that you would rather stay in the US after your playing career is over?

A: I've spent most of the The last 17 years there, but that was work. Naturally, I sometimes think about where I will live after my career is finished. But I can't answer this question definitively. I still have one year left on my contract with Columbus.

Q: Do you have any plans for your after-hockey future?

A: It's a difficult question. Much more difficult than it seems. I thought a lot about it, and haven't come up with anything yet. Hockey takes too much of my time and energy, both mental and physical. Naturally, I'd like to do something sports-related, possibly hockey-related. But for now those plans are very hazy. I would probably need to take a year or two off and re-think my life. Your life doesn't end with hockey, although everyone thinks that they will play hockey forever, when they are 18 or 20.

Q: Are you emotionally ready to accept the fact that your career nears its end?

A: Probably not. I was doing only hockey for all of the last 20 years. I think that some time in the future I will have to get over a shock of the realization that I won't have to train or prepare for the next season. Sports occupy about 90% of my time right now. I'll have to think of something to use all that time for, when I'll stop training and competing. I hope I'll come up with something, and that the new occupation would become fun. But I must tell you that I hate making long-term plans like that.

Q: I often noticed that some athletes are so afraid of the moment of saying goodbye to sports that they keep playing anywhere just to postpone that moment.

A: I'm not ready to play just anywhere, just to be playing. I think that my career was very successful. I've won championships, I was fortunate to have played for strong teams with excellent teammates who helped me grow. First in Russia, then in North America, so I see no reason to cling to hockey just to be playing. If I play, I play to win. If I still have something to give, then why not?

Q: Do you feel your age?

A: You know, when you train with under 25s and skate not just on par, but faster then they, you don't notice your age.

Q: I meant, do you feel the age inside yourself?

A: I realize that I'm 37 and I'm not the same player as I was 5 years ago. Some things, especially in pre-season training, are harder now.

Q: Are your emotions different now?

A: I think that changes with experience, both life and sport. 5 or 10 years ago I would have probably behaved differently than now, in certain situations. But I can't say that Ifeelany discomfort because of that. With experience, one just controls himself better, both in positive and negative senses of the word.

Q: How did you feel about the fact that you were unable to play for Russia in the Moscow World Championships?

A: I felt badly, certainly. I hoped to play. But in January I seriously injured my left elbow, and couldn't play at all for 5 weeks. Then, just after returning to the ice, I injured my right elbow. I spent the last 15 games of the season playing D, because I couldn't keep up offensively. My elbows kept hurting, I tried all kinds of pills and injections to no avail. Although, I liked playing D, on the whole. I got a lot of ice time. But I understood that the Russian national team couldn't use me in that condition, even as a D-man. And I certainly couldn't have played the role that the Russian coaches planned for me.

Q: Were you not invited, or did you yourself decided that you weren't ready to play for the national team?

A: I decided myself. I realized that I would be physically unable to play after the end of the NHL season. Because I played the last two month held together by "spit and chicken wire".

Q: Did you follow the World Championships?

A: I didn't watch the first half of it at all. I was too disappointed with my season in Columbus, and by my physical condition. Perhaps, I should have paid more attention to my health earlier, because the problems turned out to be too serious to fix in the short time before the world championship.

Q: Then, where did the rumors start, saying that you weren't interested in the WCH at all, and didn't even know where it was to be held?

A: Think about it, how could I NOT have known about it? I was really preparing for it. I was communicatiing with the Russian coaches and federation officials. I know where this rumor comes from. We lost to Edmonton in particularly dissapointing fashion. I was very tired and upset. I kept replaying some episodes from the game in my mind. There were so many chances that we couldn't finish... Just then a Russian reporter asked me if I was going to play in the WCH. I didn't understand what he was talking about at first, "What world championship?" That was enough for him to write what he wrote.

Q: Next year, the WCH is going to be played in Canada for the first time. Will you play if invited?

A: Definitely.

Q: Many of the Russian NHLers are returning to Russia. Why do you think that is, and is it possible that you may return too?

A: We are getting older. Maybe that is why we are drawn back.

Q: But the young ones are returning also?

A: Perhaps they don't get the same enjoyment from playing in North America, as they do in Russia. Russian hockey is very different from NHL hockey. There's practically no "beautiful hockey" there. NHL hockey tendencies are simple.

Q: And the money is not as good as it is in Russia?

A: That is something I would have to research. If it comes to that.

Q: How do you see your role in Columbus, since that team is not pursuing the same goals that you were accustomed to in Anaheim, and certainly in Detroit?

A: The last 4 years of my career were not what you'd call stellar. I could still score in Anaheim, because the team was good as were the teammates.

Q: Are you disappointed that Anaheim won the Cup without you, when before the owners were counting on you to help the team do that?

A: You see... the offense is very different from defense. Anaheim placed their bets on a goalie and two Dmen, and they played great.

Q: What do you think about Columbus team?

A: It's a generally young team with nevertheless high contracts and peculiar atmosphere.

Q: What is peculiar about it?

A: I am the oldest player, there are two more over 30s, one is 28, and the rest are in their early 20s or younger. I played with David Vyborny and Rick Nash at first, but over the long 82 game season the lines can't stay constant

and I played with everyone on the team, even Dmen.

Q: Most of the players who play for the Russian national team today, are from a much younger generation. Do you feel like a dinosaur among them?

A: I love hockey in all its forms. I like competng for the puck, survival, victory. I like the young guys. It is interesting to play with them, show and explain things to them, even off the ice.

Q: Do you get the feeling that some things are impossible to explain, because their views on hockey are very different?

A: It happens. It is normal. The way that we were training, the younger generation wouldn't understand. And we couldn't explain. Some things I could show, but will they watch?

Q: "Everything was better when we were young"?

A: Yes, it was. I will defend that opinion anywhere. Hockey was more interesting to play and to watch, by a tremendous degree. I am sure of it.

Q: Do you feel nostalgia for "Detroit"?

A: I don't know. Although, I was pleasantly surprised that a jersey of Steve Yzerman, who I played with for 13 years, hangs in the "Dynamo" arena.

Q: In other words,youspent the best years of your life in Detroit?

A: Yes, having won 3 Cups there, I am sure about it.

Q: Do you think Detroit may call you back?

A: I don't know what to say. Rather, where to begin. Frankly, I didn't intend to go anywhere. But hockey is not just a game, it's a business. And when someone tries to dishonestly put one over you in that business, that mobilizes the very qualities that make you a winner. Determination, judgement, estimation of my own career. Do you see what I mean? We agreed with Detroit management on one contract, but when we came to sign it the next day, there was totally different contract on the table. This is not widely known. I didn't talk about it. But the unpleasant feeling from my separation from Detroit remained.

Q: If you could live your life again, what would you do differently?

A: I can only say that I was lucky. That my father got me interested in sports. That a coach from Minsk noticed me. That I was invited to play for the junior national team, and after I graduated high school, invited to join the Red Army club. I was supposed to play for Dynamo, because my junior club was in their farm system. I was lucky that Viktor Vasilievich Tikhonov gave me a chance to develop within that team, where every player, top to fourth line, was at the peak of their game. And where I got to play against outstanding goalies for those 4 years. On the other hand, that hard work, that I had to face at 16, without any hope for normal social life was difficult to endure. There was a lot of sweat and literally blood spilled. And a lot of nerves burned. But I wouldn't change anything.

I sure the boos didnt help. Im sure Sergeis lenghty hold out didnt help his view in the eyes of the fans, either. I guess he got upset that he tried to haggle for more money from the Wings, and had the tables turned on him.

His claim that he is still faster than players under 25 is crock, too.

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What's Yzerman's jersey doing in the Dynamo arena, LOL!?!?

Just before he signed with the Ducks his agent said that he felt 'liberated' or something like that and made a comparison with escaping Russia. Not a very smart thing to say and it just made the fans angry.

Maybe he has a case about the contract situation.....I don't think we all know for sure what happened. In any case, he ain't gonna get much sympathy considering that he forced the Wings to match a pretty outrageous offer sheet from the Canes back in '98 (I think). Contracts are often an ugly process.

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All this simply reminds what a Effing crybaby he is and continues to be. Anyone who has to question or is "pleasantly surprised" that Yzermans jersey is hanging ANYWHERE in Detroit, let alone Joe Louis Arena, is a bitter and selfish idiot.

He's also full of crap about his contract. He was clearly afford more money by the Wings but his greed was higher and his ego was at peak. Screw the little whiner. I hope he never returns to Detroit. Let him rot in Columbus or anywhere else. His big number days are over. His career will slowly end with little acknowledgement. Good riddance you whiny baby.

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I tend not to believe him about his contract, but if true he's owed an apology by the fans of Detroit. I had no problem with him leaving, rather it was for more/less money. He was a major reason for those 3 cups.

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All this simply reminds what a Effing crybaby he is and continues to be. Anyone who has to question or is "pleasantly surprised" that Yzermans jersey is hanging ANYWHERE in Detroit, let alone Joe Louis Arena, is a bitter and selfish idiot.

He's also full of crap about his contract. He was clearly afford more money by the Wings but his greed was higher and his ego was at peak. Screw the little whiner. I hope he never returns to Detroit. Let him rot in Columbus or anywhere else. His big number days are over. His career will slowly end with little acknowledgement. Good riddance you whiny baby.

Meanie, I think you misread the comment about Yzerman's jersey. Fedorov said he was pleasantly surprised that it was hanging in Dynamo arena in Russia, not the Joe Louis Arena. In that case I don't think pleasantly surprised is a bad comment. I guess I took it to mean that Fedorov didn't expect to see Yzerman's jersey hanging in Russia, but he liked seeing it hang there.

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I tend not to believe him about his contract, but if true he's owed an apology by the fans of Detroit.

I believe that's what he feels/thinks happened and wouldn't be the least bit surprised if management felt the exact opposite. It happens. I had completely forgotten he and Yzerman played that long together.

-Tony

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Meanie, I think you misread the comment about Yzerman's jersey. Fedorov said he was pleasantly surprised that it was hanging in Dynamo arena in Russia, not the Joe Louis Arena. In that case I don't think pleasantly surprised is a bad comment. I guess I took it to mean that Fedorov didn't expect to see Yzerman's jersey hanging in Russia, but he liked seeing it hang there.

Ahh..thanks for the correction. An oversight on my part.

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I believe him about the contract. This is not the first time I have heard that and I have never heard the Wings executives denounce it. What probably happened is a few things in the final contract were changed or worded different, Fedorov thought they were trying to pull one over on him and he decided to head for Hollywood.

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