|Fedorov in the 1980s (via legendaryauctions.com)|
The rumour-mill is alive and at work today, with the news that Sergei Fёdorov is apparently practising with CSKA Moscow, and may play on Friday. Yes, that Sergei Fёdorov. The 43-year-old retired after spending the 2011-12 season with Metallurg Magnitogorsk, and has most recently been employed as CSKA's general manager.
More below the jump!
Fёdorov played 4 seasons for CSKA in the 1980s, after spending his rookie year in 1985-86 with Dinamo Minsk. He came to North America with that first wave of Soviet players in 1990, and had a fairly decent time in the NHL, as you may remember (1248 gp, 483-696-1179, plus 3 Stanley Cups). After returning to Russia in 2009, he appeared to close out his career with 3 seasons playing for Metallurg Magnitorgorsk. Today's news, however, suggests that the story may not be done just yet.
Appropriately enough, if Fёdorov does return on Friday, his first opponent will be Metallurg. It will also mark the on-ice reunion of Sergei Fёdorov with his 32-year-old brother Fёdor. The two siblings have played together for a couple of seasons, in Magnitogorsk from 2009 to 2011.
What all this means for coach John Torchetti remains to be seen. On one hand, it cannot be great news that his boss has decided to take matters into his own hands, particularly with the team lying outside the playoff spots at the moment. There is the potential there for serious awkwardness. On the other, Fёdorov has reportedly kept himself in good shape, and he was a tremendous player in his prime. If Fёdorov has anything left in the tank, and he and Torchetti can sort out their new working relationship, this might turn out to be a very good move by CSKA. If not, it will at least make for some drama...
Fёdorov's signing, if all goes as planned, will represent the second time in a week that CSKA has lured somebody out of retirement. A few days ago, the team signed 37-year-old forward David Nemirovsky, who had lengthy experience in both the North American minor leagues and Russia over the past couple of decades. Nemirovsky retired in 2011, after having played briefly for CSKA. He was in the lineup today, and managed a shot on goal, but CSKA went down to defeat to Traktor Chelyabinsk. What role the loss played in Fёdorov's decision to join Nemirovsky on the ice remains unclear.