The Russian Five (2018) Movie Script

Growing up in America,
right or wrong,
fair or unfair,
we were kind of
trained to be...
"Those Russians,
they're bad people.
"They're against us."
We sort of had that mentality.
Even me, a little bit.
But all I was
concerned about was,
"How can I get good
world-class players
for the Red Wings?"
And I knew that there
were good players in Russia.
The problem was
you couldn't get them out
to the National Hockey League.
JIM LITES: It's now
four o'clock
in the afternoon,
three o'clock
in the afternoon
in Portland.
We had arranged
a car service to pick us up
at the airplane.
And we said, "Well,
how are we gonna do this?"
We checked into the hotel
where the Russian team
was staying.
Sergei had a game
that night, and we got
Sergei on the phone.
He said "Let's go."
And Sergei said,
"No, it's my last game.
"I wanna play in the game."
I said, "Oh, okay, here's
what we'll do.
"Take the key to your room,
slip it under our door,
"And we'll go up
and get the luggage
"when the game's over." I said, "I'll be in the lobby,
"you come off
and you follow me.
"And we go out the door,
get in the car,
"get in the plane,
back to Detroit
right away."
NICK POLANO: The game is over. We park the limo on the side of he hotel.
It's dark back there.
The driver is asking me
if we're mafia and we're
gonna kill somebody.
So, I'm saying...
"No, no, we're not doing
anything bad like that.
"We're waiting
for a hockey player."
Literally, we were making up
as we went along.
I said, "Look.
He's a player of action.
Your player's gonna
leave the Russian team,
he's coming to play for us.
We're with the
Detroit Red Wings management.
I said, "Look, I'll give you
an extra 100 buck tip.
"Just do what we say.
Just low-key it."
So now, it's ten o'clock,
it's post-game, and I'm
sitting in the lobby.
This bus pulls up in front.
The last guy off the bus
is Sergei Fedorov.
He walks into the lobby,
looks at me and goes,
"Ready to go, Jim."
So, we're passing
the elevators,[ELEVATOR BELL DINGS]
...suddenly, the doors open.
And it's a guy
that Sergei knows.
And Sergei says, "One minute."
I'm kind of like,
"What are you doing?"
I've never been
more scared in my life.
I had no idea
if he might grab me
because he was
twice bigger than me.
He said, "Where
are you going?"
"I'm going to Detroit."
He was, "Yeah, yeah,
let's go have dinner.
We'll talk about that later."
I'm like, "No, no, no.
Here's a gentleman
right there, I'm going."
So he follows me down
the hall. We get in the car,
and I asked him,
"Who was that
and what did you say to him?"
He said, "Well, that's
my roommate,
and I said to him,
"'I've not been kidnapped, I'm doing this on my own free will.
"'And I will see you
down the road.'"
And that's how
the Russian Five started.
FEDOROV: I felt like
I made a right decision.
I was ready
to play hockey there.
JEFF DANIELS: The work ethic,
that is the Midwest,
we have to outwork you.
You went to Yale.
I went to
Central Michigan University.
So I gotta outwork you.
You can't imagine
what it was like
in Detroit in 1982.
The city was beaten.
Seventeen percentage
interest rates.
Really high unemployment.
You know, it was a mess.
I remember covering
hockey games
in Joe Louis Arena.
And what they call
Devil's Night, the night
before Halloween.
And there were cars
flipped over and burning.
and that's what people
remember about Detroit.
Back when Detroit was
truly the Motor City,
in, you know, the '40's...
We were jammin' cars
out of here.
That's gone.
You're living in a part of the country that everybody thinks is worthless.
And the Red Wings
have always been a salve
for the city of Detroit.
hockey players'd get either
sticks or pucks in the face,
and they get stitches. As soon as they're fixed up, they're back up going again.
I think people
in Detroit, Michigan,
uh, the automotive
capital of the world,
really, really connected
with that kind
of thought process.
ANNOUNCER: The Red Wings won the Stanley Cup four times
within a six years span with what has been called the greatest team of all time.
DAVE STRADER: There hadn't
been a championship
in Detroit since 1955,
during the glory years
of Gordie Howe
and the production line
with Alex Ovechkin
and Ted Lindsay.
Things really started
to slide in the '70s.
And slid even further
in the '80s.[CROWD CHEERS]
REDMOND: When I got
traded here in '71, things
were out of whack pretty good.
The Red Wings were buried
so far down,
they couldn't see the top.
And it was demoralizing
for a Wings fan, and you
can't blame them.
There were no fans.
There was no excitement.
They were always referred
to as the "Dead Wings."
STRADER: And I'm sure there
was thoughts in this town,
like, "What's gonna
turn this things around?"
When were you
first interested in buying
the Detroit Red Wings?
When my business started
taking hold fairly well,
I kind of dreamt about it,
but I never, honestly,
thought it would happen.
REPORTER: We've had some
rough sliding the last
10 years or so.
But we've had
some glorious years.
and Mrs. Ilitch, they bought
the Detroit Red Wings.
Because they wanted
to see hockey, um...
mean something again.
I plan to surround myself
with lot of competent people.
And roll up my sleeves
and work 24 hours a day
if it's necessary.
ANNOUNCER: Ilitch's first job
was to hire the most
capable general manager
he could find.
And where better to look than the Stanley Cup champions.
Jimmy Devellano
had been the architect
of the Islanders draft.
The team I took over in 1982
was in the Detroit River,
quite frankly.
You're looking to at least
five hard years.
You've got nobody
in the bushes, and you have
the "maybe" three players
who really can play
in the NHL.
Well, that's...
I'm giving you a blunt
assessment. I don't mean
to be rude or anything,
but you don't have
any kind of a hockey club.
You're a justifiable
21st after tonight.
Well, I was hoping that
maybe we could by 1990,
contend for the Stanley Cup.
That's what I... 1990.[INTERVIEWER LAUGHS]
Well... Well, Dick,
listen, now the...[LAUGHING]
completing my 10th year
with the New York Islanders.
We were just coming off
our third consecutive
Stanley Cup.
And it was really, truly
a team that was built
through the draft.
And I had promised
the Ilitches, I'd promised
the city,
that we would build
this team through the draft.
Is your owner... You think
he'll have the patience,
Mr. Ilitch, the Pizza King?
He tells me he has,
and I have to take
the man at his word.
LITES: The first draft
of the Devellano-Ilitch era,
was 1983.
The first round pick
was Steve Yzerman.
I certainly wasn't
sitting there thinking,
"Oh, my God," like,
this organization
had struggled.
You're bright-eyed
and hopeful and there's
new ownership,
there's a new general manager.
You're thinking nothing
but the best.
Now you pick up
Stevie Yzerman.
I'm interested.
And the fans
get interested.
And that...
goes for a while.
But when there is some mix
of bad years with veterans
on the way out
and it's not working.
We still need the pieces
that put it all together.
And it takes a long time
to build a great team.
DEVELLANO: I thought
it would take forever.
And I was getting nervous.
I didn't feel you could
get enough players
out of one draft,
and I knew that there
were good players in Europe.
Especially in Russia.
The Soviet Red Army
hockey club was
the gold standard
when it came to
international hockey.
They won everything.
DEVELLANO: Our scouts
watched the Russian team
and when they came back,
they sang the praises
of several young Russians.
But they really sang
the praises of one
Sergei Fedorov.
The problem was,
there was an iron curtain.
LITES: No Russian player
would jump as their family
would be murdered.
So, the feeling was
if you took a Russian
or a Czech,
you were really wasting
your draft choice.
But I felt if we
get him in three years,
five years, ten years,
Even if we get him 10 years
from now, he's only 28,
we got a world class player.
HOLLAND: When you draft
a player, you own their
rights, basically, forever.
But everybody was scared
to use draft picks
on the Russian players
because you didn't know
if you'd ever see them.
And draft picks are assets,
and you didn't want
to use an asset
on something that you
didn't know if you'd ever see.
KEITH GAVE: When Gorbachev
came along, the Soviet Union
began changing.
Things started to ease up.
And so, the Soviets
had started to release
older players.
But it didn't guarantee
that the younger guys
were gonna come.
At least not without a fight.
Being the general manager
at the time,
I had to make
the final decision.
You never know
what's gonna happen
in the future.
LITES: There was
a certain amount of feel
that if we don't
start taking these
Russian players earlier,
other teams
are gonna do it.
I used the theory.
Who are we gonna get here
now in the fourth round
from North America, really?
And so it was
on that basis in '89
when we got
to the fourth round,
we selected Sergei Fedorov.
GAVE: When they made that
pick and you could hear that,
that was an audible gasp
like, "Oh, my goodness, what?
The Red Wings
just took a Russian,
"with their fourth pick
in the draft!"
a few teams snickered,
"There goes Devellano
wasting a draft pick."
But I thought that the best
18-year-old in Russia
would be able
to come over here and be
a pretty good player.
When we got to the 11th round,
we did the same thing
with Vladimir Konstantinov.
I believe he was
22-23 years of age.
LITES: An established
player, captain
in the Russian military,
a wife, a child.
There's ever a communist guy
that would be hard
into the Russian system.
The last guy
that's ever gonna come
is Vladimir Konstantinov.
To be fair to ownership,
I'm sure at times
they wondered
if it was a good strategy.
But I didn't feel it was
a big gamble if you
could get the players.
And I turned around
and looked at our executive
vice-president at the table.
I said, "Now we got
a superstar here.
"You find a way to get him."
LITES: There's no book, you know. You couldn't anywhere and say,
"Okay. How do you
get a guy to defect?"
I knew one guy
that spoke Russian.
that was involved
in hockey in Detroit
a beat writer with the
Detroit Free Press,
Keith Gave.
Usually, I didn't
hear from Jim Lites
unless he had something
to complain about,
something that I'd written
or whatever.
He said, "Okay, here's why
I asked you to lunch."
"You're the only
Russian speaker I know
that knows hockey.
'Would you consider
possibly helping us make
contact with these players?"
I'd read enough
about reporters
being used as pawns
in the middle of espionage
And I'm thinking,
"Why not me?"
I said, "You know,
the only thing I ask...
"I want the story first.
"If you can give me that,
I'll pass along your
message to these guys."
Couple of weeks later,
I was on my way
to Helsinki, Finland.
We created letters.
The one that Fedorov was basically had been drafted by the Detroit Red Wings,
and "We will do anything
we can to help facilitate
"your decision to come
to North America to play."
We wrote a second letter
to Vladimir Konstantinov.
"If there's ever a change
in the political climate,
"we would love
to have you be a part
of the Detroit Red wings."
We had to take
the position that
he would report us
to the authorities for just
even making contact with him.
GAVE: I get
to Helsinki with my
reporter's credentials.
And the guy took me
to the dressing room area.
And brought out Sergei
and Vladdy, and they're
both dripping wet.
He just yanked him
right out of the showers
and brought them out there.
I shook their hands...
I spoke to them
in Russian a little bit.
And I was getting
a little nervous
'cause I noticed a guy
who kept leaning forward,
leaning forward.
I'm convinced that
he was their KGB guy
who made sure that none
of these guys defected.
And I said, "Oh, yeah,
I got this media guide."
And I can see Sergei
thumbing through the book.
He sees the little thing
I had tucked in the way,
and he took the book
and he kind of put it
behind his back.
I had the Detroit draft list
and it showed Sergei,
"There you are,
fourth round by Detroit,
74th overall."
And, Sergei, he'd be
a great card player, 'cause
he showed no emotion at all.
Then I showed Vladdy.
I said, "Look, and the Wings
drafted you in the 11th round,
here, Vladimir Konstantinov."
Vladimir Konstantinov was like the little kid who got the shiny blue bike for Christmas.
He was bouncing around.
He was really excited.
Couldn't wait
to get on the phone
and call Jim Lites and say,
"Jim, mission accomplished."
We felt lucky.
We had made
contact with them.
They knew we had
drafted them within a month
of the actual draft
So this was the first year
of the Super Series.
where three different
Russian teams
had a goodwill tour
of NHL franchises.
But Red Army team
were playing in Chicago.
We had a goalie coach
named Phil Myre.
He said he's got a good friend who knows the Russian players.
The official photographer
for the Red Army team.
And I got on the phone
with Michel right away.
And he had
Sergei on the phone.
And we made an arrangement
at that time
that Michel and I
would meet with Sergei
at the Drake hotel
during his two night
stay in Chicago.
It was interesting
for me. It was
like little bit exciting
more than scary.
I have a guy from KGB
and I choose not to tell him
'cause I don't wanna get
anybody in trouble.
Sergei comes in.
Dressed in his best suit.
When I say
a good Russian suit
for a 20-year-old kid,
it looked like something
that you gotten
out of Goodwill.
We ordered dinner,
talked for four hours.
And I armed myself
with an NHL Standard
Players Contract.
It was identical to the
contract Steve Yzerman was
playing under at the time.
I had $10,000
in U.S. cash.
And I had a nice brochure of the Riverfront Apartments.
And I'd gone to a Chevrolet
dealer and gotten a
beautiful, glossy photograph
of a brand new Corvette.
And I fully intended
at that time
for Sergei to leave
the Drake Hotel with me.
I have no idea how my mum,
my dad would react.
I have no idea
how government react.
Those thoughts
were on my mind.
I said, "Sergei, this money's
yours if you leave now."
You never know
what's gonna happen.
This is world politics.
FEDOROV: I understand
what they make,
what they drive.
It would be interesting
to play in front of
20,000 people every night.
LITES: He said, "No,
I do not want to desert
from the military."
And I felt bad
that I didn't bring
the player back with me.
Most important feeling
from the exhibition
I knew I can play
against those guys.
And to me they
were superheroes.
I went to see
a Four Nations Tournament
and I'm looking at the
Russian team and I see
a player without a number.
I found out it was a young boy by the name of Slava Kozlov.
I got on the phone
to my ownership,
Mike and Marian.
I said, "I've just seen
the best 15-year-old player
I've ever seen
"in my lifetime."
HOLLAND: We knew
he was a fabulous talent.
But, again, you didn't know
if you'd ever get him.
DEVELLANO: So, in 1990,
I got bold, I got cocky,
and I said, "We're taking him
in the third round."
Third round, you can get
some North American players.
It's not the fourth round,
it's the third round.
LITES: So now
we had the three Russians
to shoot for.
And to be honest with you,
I had no idea how we
were gonna be able to do that.
FEDOROV: I was living
at the hockey base.
Those trainings,
those bags were so heavy.
Just sleeping, resting,
eating, and training.
There was no internet.
There was
no newspaper sometime.
We were so secluded
eleven month.
It kind of get us
a little bit down, you know.
And when you're in the cage,
when you're on that island,
I would say,
you start to think
and feel different.
You just want freedom,
I guess.
ANNOUNCER: Sergei Fedorov's
team came to America for some
good hockey and goodwill.
Instead of Fedorov,
it was goodbye.
The CBS and NBC
affiliates are reporting
that Fedorov has
defected one station
reporting that he
is already in Detroit.
LITES: I moved Sergei
and the interpreter
right into my house
and my home phone rings.
And it's some guy
from the State Department.
"Mr. Lites, do you know
the whereabouts
of Sergei Fedorov?"
So I basically said, "Yes."
I'm on the couch
in the basement,
watching this crazy TV
with colors
and all that stuff.
It was a night of about
six phone calls back and forth
with the State Department,
Russian officials, and myself
with Sergei sitting
on the couch, laughing.
And I'm like holding
the phone over,
"You got any intention
to going back to Russia?"
And he's like, "No. Nyet."
FEDOROV: I don't wanna
go back home, you know.
And the issue was over.
A little bit of tension here.
The calls were nasty.
Quite fun, to be honest
with you. I had
a pretty good time with it.
DEVELLANO: And later on,
it just so happened
that the team that
Konstantinov played on,
was going to play
the Red Wings,
here at Joe Louis Arena.
We arranged that
at two o'clock in the morning,[ALARM BEEPING]
when the Russian team
was sound asleep,
that he would sneak down
the back stairs
of the Pontchartrain hotel
across the road,
into Joe Louis Arena.
I had the door open.
In the meantime,
I got two great,
big satchels full of money.
Just wanted to emphasize
how his life could change
over here.
I mean, I knew it was
a struggle over there.
Here, you're gonna be...
You're gonna be rich, Vladdy.
You're gonna be rich.
I said, "Vladimir,
you're an NHL player,
"we'd like to have you.
"And we want you to stay."
And he looked at me sadly,
and he said,
"I would like to come,
"but I have a wife
and a daughter.
"I can't desert them."
Plus, he's a captain
in the Russian military.
So, if he deserted,
he'd be considered a felon
in Russia which would
make him, automatically,
incapable of getting
an H1 visa to play
in the National Hockey League.
I said, "I understand, Vladdy,
"I want you to come over
here with your family.
"We're gonna find a way
to get to you down the road.
"Don't forget us."
It was exciting time.
I understood I'm gonna live
right next to Joe Louis Arena.
I understood
I'm gonna have
a Corvette.
I was like,
"Wow, this is nice.
"All that just to play?"
I took my Corvette
and just drove to the malls.
It was fun. Just go there
and just, I guess,
learn everything.
How you put
gasoline in a car.
Simple things like that.
Where we're
gonna have lunch,
what do I need for apartment?
Pillows, draperies.
There were a few guys who were
upset with Sergei coming in
and having these things
lavished on him.
They didn't think
he paid his dues.
I think they felt that
he walked into this goldmine.
And that they were
going to be put aside.
It just appeared to me
'cause I was in the front
of the plane.
that they were being
not so inclusive to him.
And it wasn't everybody.
But you could see it
and you could feel it.
And I know he felt it.
Language was
a little bit of an issue.
Style of play was an issue.
Newness to the NHL
was an issue.
But Sergei was a good guy. He really wanted to be good.
How do you like
the American girls?
They're really pretty.
REPORTER: Can he speak
any English to us now?
I just like to try
to get him speaking
some English to us if...
YZERMAN: It was hard to get to know him because, you know,
I couldn't speak
a word of Russian.
And he was starting
from scratch, trying
to figure everything out.
When we were roommates,
I would wake up
in the middle of the night
hearing someone
talking in Russian.
kind of, you know,
under the sheets.
And I see a cord
from the phone going
in under the sheets...
Sergei's talking to someone
over in Russia.
LITES: For the next draft,
Sergei's agent comes
in my office and says,
"I can get Konstantinov out." And he said, "I need cash.
"I need a car," as he put it.
I have to work
with some doctors.
GAVE: The doctors said,
"He needs to go
to America for treatment."
And the doctor
said that because
they were being bribed.
LITES: They all swore
that he had inoperable sarcoma and in a flick of a pen,
He got discharged
from the military.
And I never asked any qu...
That's where the money went.
They got everything together
for Vladdy and his wife,
Irina, and daughter, Anastasia
to come to Detroit.
And that's when the
hardline communists tried
to get their country back.
LITES: I get
a frantic call that says:
The Russian military
is taking over
the country again.
They had closed
the airport in Moscow.
I said, "Just get them
out of Russia."
He said, "I can
get them to Budapest."
I said, "And I'll
meet you in Budapest."
We get to Budapest,
picked up Vladdy, Irina,
and their baby.
Headed right
for the American consulate.
There was a delay
in getting Irina
and the baby out.
Vladimir was having
really strong opinions
that he did not want
to go without her
and their daughter.
And we were going, "Vladdy,
we need to get out of here."
Irina was very
powerful and said,
"No, Vladdy, you go
and get started. And we'll be
right behind you.
it was harder for Sergei
because he was the first.
When Vladdy came,
you couldn't separate
Sergei and Vladdy.
FEDOROV: We were
roommates in Red Army for
a couple of years, actually.
When he came, I was like,
"Oh, cool, I get the chance
t hang out with somebody
from back home."
I think that the homesickness
eased when he had somebody
he could grasp onto.
They go Blockbuster.
They get movies.
And Sergei got
theTerminator movies.
And he got Vladdy
watching them with him.
They got started
on the American culture,
and they really dove
right into it right away.
After Vladdy arrived,
his wife, Irina,
and his daughter,
Anastasia, arrived also.
They were
overwhelmed with relief
when they got over here.
IRINA: I feel wonderful
support from the Red Wings,
and it's really, really
gives us great feeling.
REPORTER: Was this
a dream come true for you
when you arrived here
and when you were playing
in the NHL, as you call it,
the best league in the world?
Yes, was dream come true
because I always
want to play in the
best league in the world.
LITES: Our first meeting with Slava Kozlov was interesting, to say the least.
He'd been in a car accident
and he was in the hospital.
The other player with him
in the car was killed.
His agent called me
and he said, "Nick,
"can you do me a big,
big favor and go over
to see him?
I didn't even hesitate.
POLANO: Going in the
Red Army hospital,
my heart was pumping.
Especially when I saw
the soldiers in there.
We were prepared
to take the risk.
Get him out of Russia.
Get him into the care
of our doctors.
And we've got
a world-class talent.
LITES: And in two years,
we'd gone from being
the Red Wings
to being "the Red Wings."
REPORTER: The Red Wings
Soviet players, obviously,
have a close bond.
Not only through
their on-ice comradery,
but Sergei Fedorov,
Vladimir Konstantinov
Slava Kozlov have had
to learn the English language
from scratch.
What'd he say?
Yeah, he said
he can understand
some words, you know.
REPORTER: For Kozlov,
learning has been slow.
He's the least developed
of the three.
Can he say pizza yet?
He can say pizza.
Quintal rolls it back.
Kozlov has it there.
This kid can move.
He's got great speed.
And Ysebaert
back to Fedorov.
Fedorov goes to
He goes to Kozlov,
back for Fedorov for shot.
Kozlov will get
an assist!COMMENTATOR 2: Oh, boy!
And his first shift
around the ice...
STRADER: We were seeing
different kind of
Red Wings team
with all these Europeans
coming in.
Really fun to watch.
Five, six, seven goals,
ever night, it seemed like.
And it got
everybody's attention.
From behind on Fedorov.
I understand some players
and organizations worried
that they might be
out of the NHL
if many Russian players
or European players
came over at that time,
but, they were better
than a lot of our players.
DEVELLANO: I'll tell you
frankly, and I'm not gonna
reveal the person's name.
A good guy,
but he gave me shit.
He said, "What
are you doing bringing
all these Russians over?
"They're gonna take my job.
I'm a Canadian.
"And I've worked all my life."
And this person's still
a friend of mine' today.
Good guy. Good guy.
But he gave me hell
for drafting
all these Russians.
GERARD GALLANT: You know, let's face it. Hockey was Canada's game then.
They're coming over,
they're gonna have
to play the Canadian way.
They're gonna
have to toughen up.
Their ideology is different,
their values are different.
It's just they grew up
in a different system.
and as a result,
they thought
differently than us.
DON CHERRY: You know,
I was gonna come on here
and be a good guy,
You know,
right at the first show.
"Don't talk about
the Russians," and you know,
and all that stuff.
And, you know...
Well, let them come
over here. No way!
I don't want them here.
The players
don't want them here.
What is this?
Hockey Night In Canada?
Or Hockey Night In Russia?
You saw a Russian,
you were, basically,
you were gonna slash him
or try to intimidate him,
crosscheck him,
show him no respect.
All those guys took
a fair share of abuse.
But at the same time,
Detroit started winning
a lot of hockey games.
COMMENTATOR: Here's a chance for Fedorov.
He's being chased by
Murray Baron!
Gets a shot and he scores!
What a shot by Fedorov!
And the Red Wings
lead by a pair.
STRADER: This team was
getting a lot of buzz.
But when they faced teams
that were playing
good shut down defense,
it was a struggle.
They won a lot of hockey games. They couldn't win in the playoffs.
COMMENTATOR: ...cross-ice, Rouse got a shot and they score!
And an overtime goal
here in game 7.
So just an incredible end
to the season
for the Red Wings.
I don't think it was
a case of running out of gas
or anything, it was just...
We didn't play well down
the stretch. And that
continued into the playoffs.
DEVELLANO: There was a feeling that we needed to see if we couldn't bring in
a guy that had won cups,
numerous cups before.
And we were able
to bring in Scotty Bowman.
Scotty Bowman is somebody
that knows how to win.
He's won. I know
what he can do.
And I feel good about it.
Scotty Bowman came
to Detroit with a reputation
as the best coach
in the history of the game.
When Jim Devellano
contacted me,
and asked if I wanted
to come to Detroit,
I didn't know
a lot about Sergei.
But then when I got
to Detroit, you could see
the skill level was
right off the charts.
hard in the first year
to understand
what's going on.
Scotty was
a little bit more tricky.
He is not gonna
prepare you everyday,
like babysitter, no.
He will actually
make you understand
you gotta do this plus
double that more.
SCOTTY BOWMAN: Well, I'm demanding. I feel the players want that.
I'm a stickler for detail
and maybe in some eyes
they're wondering,
"What is he worried
about all those
little things for?"
But I think if you get
all those things done,
the rest takes care of itself.
He could do something that
a lot of coaches aren't able
to do with elite players.
He could push them hard
to make them
the best they could be.
A part of the reason
he could it is he had
rings on all his fingers.
for Phil Housley,
Emerson and Quintal,
here's Ysebaert now.
...try to play
his own cast off the board.
Now Yzerman.
COMMENTATOR 2: Steve Yzerman got decked.
Oh, did he get hit?
Oh, this play. Boom.
I was just sad
as most of the fans in Detroit
that Stevie went down.
He is going right down
to the Red Wing dressing room. Yeah.
FEDOROV: Nobody knew
when he's coming back.
But out of bad,
always happens some good.
I started receiving
a lot of ice time.
...back at Fedorov
and he slams it home!
I think he took it
upon himself when
Stevie got hurt.
that "I have to lead
this team offensively."
...drops it back instead.
Here's Fedorov into the play.
Fedorov snaps a shot.
FEDOROV: I remember
first three-five games.
30 face-offs.
I couldn't catch my breath.
When I start playing
those heavy minutes,
no matter what pressure
I received from opponent,
everything's standing still.
I thought it was gonna be
for a couple of weeks,
not more.
All of a sudden,
I'm running like that,
almost all year.
Fedorov, Fedorov...
GAVE: Sergei was on fire.
And suddenly,
we noticed that he was
in a pretty good race
with the highest scoring
player in the history of the
world, Wayne Gretzky.
Listen, we all knew
how good Sergei was.
He's one of the most
talented players I
ever saw in my life.
And he's got
a special unique talent.
Fedorov to center ice,
Fedorov playing hook,
Back hand and scores!
COMMENTATOR 2: That ties
Fedorov with Gretzky.
GAVE: When you're going head-to-head against Gretzky, you've sort of arrived.
Sergei Fedorov on
a penalty shot!
Really fun to watch,
and really ramped up
the excitement
and expectations in the city.
And then Sergei
suffered a concussion.
COMMENTATOR 1: Here comes
Fedorov 91 in the right.
Burr's gonna come
from the left.
There it is. Oh, my!
COMMENTATOR 2: Oh, jeez.
He never even saw him coming.
And hope that...
he can regain...
GAVE: He had missed
three or four games.
Wound up losing their
scoring race by ten points.
There were whispers,
"Will he play every night.
Will he play hurt?"
Is Sergei Fedorov a guy
that's gonna understand
what it takes to win
a championship?
After all, he's a Russian.
And then we get
to the playoffs.
The Wings were
gonna start with San Jose
and just roll
to the Stanley Cup finals.
That's what
the expectations were.
Didn't work out that way.
And that is gonna
do it for these series
as the third year
of San Jose Sharks...
have won four games
to three...
It was pretty upsetting
after that kind of a season.
But things were
not going our way.
GAVE: Igor Larionov
just took control.
He was one of
the older generation
who had somehow
escaped the Soviet Union.
He was one of the
smartest hockey players
we have ever seen.
Larionov is frustrating to
play against. He'd make these
passes that nobody else made.
You know like, why is
that puck going over there?
By the time you figure,
"Oh, it's in the back
of the net..."
That sucked. You know I...
Still bugs me.
It shocked everybody.
A number eight seat beating a number one seat.
And where do you begin
to even think about
what the off-season
of 1994 is going to bring
to the Red Wings
with this disappointing
And I would have to look
into that locker room
and figure out
why this team
in these situations,
does not rise to the occasion.
So we had the three
and we were getting better.
But we didn't win, of course.
We were trying
to get defense depth.
Scotty came to Kenny
and I, he said,
would we be
interested in Fetisov?
BOWMAN: Viacheslav Fetisov,
he was going down history
as the greatest Russian
defenseman of all time.
He was with New Jersey.
DEVELLANO: I said, "Well,
what would you
have to give up for him?"
I can get him
for a third round pick.
Certainly, I was wondering,
you know, what we were doing.
Using a third round
draft pick for an
old defenseman.
Kenny asked me
and I tell him, "Absolutely."
Simple as that.
Five second conversation.
Would you or would you not?
I said, "Absolutely.
"It would be good
for our team."
GAVE: The two key players for the Soviet National team.
The captain of the team
was Viacheslav Fetisov.
And Igor Larionov,
led the way
for the younger generation
of players.
As soon as Slava came in,
the Russian guys,
they didn't bow,
but they really
respected who he was.
Then I realized,
"Why am I came to Detroit?"
Maybe to help the guys
to realize their talent
their potential.
Growing up as a little kid,
I watched the Soviet Union
dominate in the hockey world,
so I was just thrilled
to be able to play with him.
It was intriguing
for us because it was...
Pretty big name.
Didn't know him,
I knew of him.
He got on the ice
with us very quickly.
We were like,
"Hey, this guy's pretty good."
You know.
GAVE: And Fetisov was able
to get the best
out of those guys.
Primary example,
Sergei had banged up
his shoulder.
I call and I said,
"Let's go for dinner."
And he said, "I'm not feeling
like going to play tomorrow."
He said, "It's so painful."
And I said, "Let's go."
Slava Fetisov, myself
and Sergei Fedorov
were at Joe Louis Arena,
the night before the game
till 3:30 in the morning.
Sergei Fedorov
running into the glass,
wearing Slava Fetisov's
shoulder pads.
So Slava Fetisov was
working on this, while
I was working on this.
STRADER: They get on a roll
and they get to the finals.
against New Jersey
with the chance
to win the Stanley Cup
for the first time
in 40 years.
I thought for sure in '95,
we would win the Stanley Cup.
We marched through
the first three rounds
and we had home ice advantage.
Oh, Stevens gave up...
We got swept by the Devils
very unceremoniously.
And the bodycheck
of the playoffs.
You don't believe me,
ask Kozlov.
Talk about metaphors
for the series, that's as good
as any, right there.
Two to nothing, New Jersey.
I thought very comfortably
we could turn around
and win it.
I'm like, "Guys, we're
not excited." Like,
"Why are we not excited?"
We are a great team.
We didn't get
all the guns
pointed at the enemy.
have won the Stanley Cup.
Reality is the best possible cure for your dreams, I would say.
Fetisov, Scotty Stevens'
even this season,
before Fetisov was traded.
HARRIS: The younger Russians
were in shock to see
Slava emote so much
over this loss.
DEVELLANO: Fetisov was the star of the Soviet system, Olympic gold medal winner,
but he yet hadn't
won the Stanley Cup.
HARRIS: It was a long
quiet ride back
to Detroit that night.
We have this
incredible hockey player
and he's crushed.
And here comes Vladimir
who wanted
to help him feel better.
We should've won it.
And now people are starting to ask questions.
We were too soft.
We had too many Europeans.
You can't win with Russians.
You can't win with Swedes.
They just doubted the team
from top to bottom.
People questioned
Scotty Bowman.
They questioned
if we could get it done.
But we had no choice
to stick with that team.
We'd gone
to the finals in '95.
You're not gonna
change a lot.
You just can't.
The first time
I ever saw Soviet hockey
was with a junior team
as assistant coach
in Ottawa, Canada.
And we had a...
A game against
the Soviet National team.
We got beat 10 to 1.
They played a different style.
They didn't worry
about checking.
They were good passers.
We never had the puck.
Scotty Bowman,
he appreciated the system.
And he knew one thing.
That the Russian game
is played in five-man units.
Scotty came in one day
and said to me,
"Jimmy, I got
a chance to get
I said, "Scotty,
how old is he?
Isn't he 36?"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I know, I know, but he'll go good with all those Russians."
I said, "Well, who you gonna give to San Jose?"
"I'll raise Sheppard."
I said, "Scotty, like,
you know,
he gets 35-40 goals."
[INHALES] "Yeah, I know,
I know, but he's done that.
We haven't won, Jimmy."
When they traded
Ray Sheppard at the time,
he was the most prolific
goal scorer in the
National Hockey League.
He had a couple
of 50 goals seasons.
The rest of the Wings management were furious that he gave up a 50 goal scorer.
Was I on board?
Not totally.
REPORTER: Tonight, the Wings are in Calgary to face
the winless and surly
Calgary Flames.
And tonight with newcomer
Igor Larionov, they'll
add a dimension,
never before seen in
the National Hockey League.
FEDOROV: Coming to the ring
couple of hours before
the game, we learned
we're going
to play together, like...
casually, like,
all of a sudden
they announce we're in.
IGOR LARIONOV: First time in the NHL history,
five Russian guys playing
in the same unit
and of course, it's big
pressure because
it's Detroit Red Wings.
It's one of the best
teams in the
National Hockey League.
It has its
obvious upside,
the fact that these guys
came from a similar system.
They read
each other very well.
But there's also a lot of
pressure when you put on five
of them out there at once.
I don't think there's
any question
that the Red Wings
have enough talent
to win the Stanley Cup.
That is not a problem.
The problem in the past
has been: Do they have
the right mix?
And it'll be the Red Wings'
version of the Fab Five.
We were feeling each other.
We had a good chemistry
right from the get go.
COMMENTATOR: Konstantinov again, winds up, gives it back to Kozlov.
Kozlov in
deep for Fedorov.
Back to the line,
out for Konstantinov drives
a shot high and wide...
And here is the
advantage of Kozlov,
breaking in for a shot
great time on the ice.
It was kind
of like express ourselves.
and I guess maybe change
the mentality of the
National Hockey League.
Fedorov into the zone,
dropped to Larionov...
Rebound, Larionov, score!
The Russian Five,
when they ran, they each
had the puck all night.
The Calgary Flames in their own building had only eight shots on goal.
This was a great story.
COMMENTATOR: Now the Russian Five man unit hustles onto the ice.
This'll be interesting.
Look at this.
Don't blink or you might
miss something.
rolled over teams,
outshot teams,
and rarely lost.
Here now, you got
five Russian players.
And you wonder,
"How did we
ever do without them?"
Larionov and Kozlov.
Here's Larionov back to...
Sergei Fedorov, strong,
great skater, dominant.
Let me show you how great
these Metro 25 tires handle.
He's got the look,
with the hair and physique,
and stuff like that.
So, yeah, go get it.
DEVELLANO: Slava Kozlov,
quick, cut to the net,
a goal-scoring touch.
Most miserable
motherfucking guy
in hockey history.
"Morning, Koz, how are you?"
"Fuck you, man."
Slava Fetisov,
an old war horse.
They used to call him
"the papa bear."
He was the guy that
everybody could go to.
Right in the middle
of all the conversations,
the dinners, the card games.
Usually, the better
hand he had, the louder
he was, so...
That's his tell.
Helicopter. Let's play,
boys, Let's play.
Igor Larionov, the professor.
A mentor
to the young Russians.
He could think the game
two passes ahead.
And you know,
that's something
that makes a player elite.
LIDSTROM: Igor brought
the chess game on the plane.
He's always thinking.
Nobody could
beat him in chess.
Igor definitely added
a different element
to the team.
From beer to wine.
From chicken wings to sushi.
Vladimir Konstantinov,
tough as nails,
and some North American
meanness to it.
Vladdy didn't crave
the media attention.
He was happy
to have his family.
And happy to have hockey.
In a nutshell, that's Vladdy.
LIDSTROM: Vladdy was
a lot more outgoing than
a lot of people know.
And obviously, you have
a language barrier,
to a certain extent.
But he wanted to be able
to joke around and laugh.
Here he is.
I wish you a merry Christmas
I wish you a merry Christmas
A happy new year
All these preconceptions
we had about Russian players,
for the most part
weren't right.
Merry Christmas,
happy new year.
Wait, wait, wait...
Look this way.
Vladdy, look at Vladdy.
Oh, I need a shave, too.
Come on.
Don't worry.
Okay, ready here?
STRADER: There hadn't
been a championship
in Detroit since 1955.
The question was,
can they succeed?
Could they sustain it?
I think the interesting part
was just how different
the style of play.
Larionov, he's in
he scores!
We grew up in North America
as just always go ahead.
You gain zones,
you gain the line,
you get it in.
And if you can
carry it, then great.
If not, you make sure
you get in and go chase it.
Their philosophy
is totally different.
It's we've got the puck.
We worked hard to get it.
We're not just
giving it to you.
STRADER : There is a game
of constant puck motion,
using teammates,
passing the puck back
and forth and so on.
as opposed to the clutch
and grab, and dump
and chase style
of hockey in the NHL.
It was keep-away.
I mean, literally,
they would play keep-away.
You like chasing
the puck around
for 40 seconds
and not even have
the chance to touch it?
COMMENTATOR: We're back live
at the Forum in Montreal
for the last time these two Original Six teams
will play in this building.
The one that I really
remember vividly is probably
the game in Montreal.
It was magical.
Larionov cuts in,
rebound, scores!
Igor Larionov!
A powerplay
and the Red Wings...
The most important part of
our game was like the players
without the puck
because we have to be open.
We have to go to open spaces.
And that's what our
mentality was. You always
got like two-three options
to make a play.
Patrick Roy was
on his way to becoming
one of the greatest
goaltenders of all time.
And the Russian Five played
a big part in the Red Wings
dominating Patrick
and facilitating
one of the biggest trades
in NHL history.
Close enough for the...
They have beat
Patrick Roy.
Everything's going perfect.
Fedorov takes it away
center ice.
Sends it across for Kozlov.
Kozlov cutting in.
Drops it back to Larionov...
These guys were magical,
what they did with the puck.
...sends it out to
Fedorov, scores!
You can't help yourself.
You kind of laughed
a little bit
at what they were doing.
Here comes a hook.
Patrick Roy will go.
STRADER: Patrick Roy
finally came off the ice
And basically told the
general manager,
"I played my last game
for Montreal."
It was unbelievable.
And Montreal, they made
a hurried-up trade
they probably
would regret
for the rest of the time.
Initially, the Russians
were all communists.
They're the devil.
But Detroit's a very
knowledgeable hockey town.
Once they understood
that we still have
the puck after 45 seconds,
on the five on five.
That's kind of cool.
DEVELLANO: We had one of the best teams in the history of the National Hockey League.
And what an exciting year
they have provided
for hockey fans.
We had about 130-131 points.
62 wins.
It looked like
we couldn't be beat.
REPORTER: Nearly 20,000 fans in Joe Louis Arena saluting their team.
Fox Sports proudly presents
Western Conference Final.
First game, the Avalanche
and the Red Wings.
Avalanche had a super team.
They were similar to us.
They had Joe Sakic.
They had Peter Forsberg.
The final piece
of their puzzle.
They were able
to get Patrick Roy,
the goalie from Montreal.
STRADER: Here you had
two powerhouse teams.
If we get by them,
we're gonna win the cup.
If they get by us,
they're gonna win the cup.
You could tell it
from the first game
that Colorado's gonna
try and knock around
the Russians
to see if they could
get them to leave the series.
Because that's what
a lot of people thought
the Russian players would do.
COMMENTATOR: ...opportunities
and there's going to be
a penalty, a cross-check...
Claude Lemieux...
Any time somebody has
a real talented group
of players,
that's the first thing
that's said.
You gotta be physical against them. No back down.
When you go on the ice,
you can sense,
everybody trying
to get a piece of you.
Trying to hit you from behind,
kind of welcome to NHL.
COMMENTATOR: Here's Kozlov
circling behind the goal
pushed him along the boards by Adam Foote.
Adam Foote is down. And we've got a whistle...
Kozlov, understanding
what was about to happen,
stepped out of the way
up ahead and put
Adam Foote into the glass.
there's a lot of blood
on the ice in the corner.
And that set the tone
for the whole series.
just decked by Lemieux.
Claude Lemieux,
as Claude Lemieux
is prone to do,
just sucker punched the kid.
It was ugly.
It was dirty.
But that's the way
Colorado was playing it.
And it it set up
a terrible thing
that happened at Game 6.
LEWIS: Going into Game 6,
everybody was bound
and determined to win.
Both teams are so good,
and there's so much
on the line.
And to lose
was not an option.
Oh, Draper was really
hammered by Lemieux.
Draper's face hit the dasher.
And he's gone
in front of the Detroit
players' bench...
I wanted to backboard
Kris Draper
because he had
a four-inch dent in
the side of his face.
And he just said,
"Like hell you are."
And he got up and skated
to the dressing room.
But that's what
hockey players do.
To see a teammate
and a friend like that
be that injured,
it took the wind out
of our sails.
STRADER: The Wings really
didn't mount much
of a fight after that hit.
Three to one, Colorado.
You win 62 games,
set a league record
that would never be broken,
and they're out
in the conference finals.
Yeah, that'll ruin
your spring and summer.
I took, obviously,
a pretty nasty hit.
The guys didn't really know
the extent of my injuries.
Everything was magnified
because of the fact
that they're going
on the Stanley Cup finals
and we're not.
I think, you know,
it fired up a lot of guys.
He was obviously trained
to keep them from behind
using some cheap shots
in the league.
They should take
some serious measurements
against this guy
This player shouldn't
be in the league.
OSGOOD: That hurt, losing that series, 'cause we felt like that was our time.
And then when it wasn't,
you start to get worried.
"Wow, is it
passing us by and..."
Steve Yzerman's
been there since
the dog days in Detroit
so the pressure's
mounting on him.
You never know
how much time
you're gonna have.
Who let them down
was Hockey Night
in Canada'sfabulous five.
You know, the one
that we featured every time.
You know, the five Russians
and everything?
You know why they don't
play good in the playoffs?
I'm gonna tell you why.
It's game. Bang.
Game. Bang.
And they don't like to be it.
And they folded like a tent,
and it's too bad
when something like that
happens with Stevie Yzer...
And I said it before.
Too many Russians.
It was the same thing
as I said last year
against New Jersey.
Russians were at fault again.
When the lost to Colorado,
I remember the Russian Five
coming in to the restaurant.
And the conversation
was all Russian that night.
It was led by the professor.
And I had Papa Bear.
They got so close.
And they really felt that
they all betrayed themselves.
The whole unit
as a Russian Five
were here to do one thing.
And it didn't work that way.
People often said
with Russians, that
the Stanley Cup really
wasn't in their focus.
The dream of winning
a Stanley Cup is the
biggest thing in hockey.
And probably
more so in Detroit.
Colorado went on to win
the Stanley Cup final.
Usually, you try
to have one of those, well...
"Well, it's okay 'cause
the champions beat us so,
maybe we're sec..."
No. It was like,
"Fuck them.
"That's ours.
We got work to do."
You know, I really thought
we would get it done quicker.
And you know,
when it doesn't happen,
you're a little disappointed
that you haven't
been able to kind of
get it all together.
It seems that you're measured
when you win a championship.
GAVE: The way Scotty
deployed the Russian Five
was beautiful.
But, the more they
played together, the easier
they became to defend.
LEWIS: And Scotty put the
five together, and you knew
what you were gonna get.
And if you didn't like that
or didn't wanna do that,
he would break them up.
When he split them up,
it opened up all
of our eyes to a
different way of playing.
If we do have the puck,
you're always on attack.
So you don't have to defend.
I think it became contagious
as the year went on.
One of the things I noticed
when I came from Hartford
to Detroit that year was
just how good
the practices were.
We just started to realize
that if you scrimmaged
against these guys,
it was very, very frustrating.
And it was no fun.
But that made us
better as group,
realizing what we had to do.
When you train everyday
against the best,
like Brendan Shanahan
and Stevie Y., Chris Draper,
you're getting better.
OSGOOD: Igor told everybody
that you're better than
what you think you are.
It evolved our game.
You see that
and you see their effort
just uh, it rubs off on you.
There was
a culture shift going on.
DRAPER: Sometimes, it was two hours before our playing in a game.
You got the Russian Five,
and they're kind of kicking
the soccer ball around
and the next things you know,
you know, we've probably
had three-quarters
of our team before games,
you know, warming up
playing soccer,
and truly having fun with it.
It's a special group of guys
putting all egos aside
and really enjoying
the whole process.
And now we were becoming
a really tremendous team.
McCARTY: That year,
we geared it
down a little bit.
We didn't have
the best record.
We saved guys.
The regular season
wasn't the finish line.
DANIELS: This was a team
built for blue-collared town
like Detroit.
They were gonna do
whatever they needed to do
to get this thing done.
YZERMAN: If we wanted to beat Colorado, we had to take our game to the next level.
1997, Vladimir Konstantinov
became scud missile.
Just relentless.
'Cause he'd
just keep coming and he
didn't care who you were.
Wayne Gretzky who?
That'd be Vladdy's answer.
I hated him. [LAUGHS]
Oh, it's a compliment.
Whenever I say I hate a guy,
that means
I wanted him on my team.
I'm not sure who came up
with "The Vladinator",
but obviously, when you
think of the Terminator
and what he did,
and you think about Vladdy,
you realized how he played.
Hasta la vista, baby.
I think the fans
in Detroit love a player
that won't back down.
I would think the fans
identified with that
rugged warrior mentality
that we all wish we had
on an everyday basis.
Everybody at their core
in Detroit
sort of feels like
that's who they are.
When you see
the intensity
of professional sports,
you can see how hard it is
to get to the top.
And blue-collar people
understand that.
The mid-west understands that.
We gotta face again,
Colorado Avalanche.
Seemed like they were
playing the
best hockey against us.
We lost them three times,
I believe, in a course
of the year.
Claude Lemieux, he hated him.
And for what he did to Draper,
we were mad at the League.
They only suspended him
for two games.
Pierre Lacroix didn't like me.
I didn't like Pierre Lacroix.
So there was hatred there.
The Colorado Avalanche
and the Detroit Red Wings,
set to face off, here on...
It was a bit of an elephant
in the room
that nothing
had been done yet.
about Lemieux and the incident
with Draper the year before.
Something was gonna get done.
Nothing was said.
But everybody knew.
Everybody knew in the world.
Here is Larionov.
Avalanche holding
the Red Wings
in their own zone.
Larionov with Forsberg
away from the play.
Never in my life
I had any fights.
Forsberg with
an extra hit to the head.
And Igor objects.
LARIONOV: Certain time
when you gotta stand up
for yourself and...
You know, do something.
And it's an offence...
And now Darren McCarty
gets in, chucks in
at Claude Lemieux.
Look who came
all the way out
to try to help.
SHANAHAN: I don't think
Igor started the fight
with Forsberg.
Because Lemieux
was on the ice.
It happened organically.
I'll even tell you the
difference between
sucker punch and a cold-cock.
Sucker punch is from behind
when he's not looking.
Cold-cock's when you're
looking right in the eyes and
hit him as hard as you can.
COMMENTATOR: Oh, my goodness!
He told me later
that's the hardest
he's ever been hit.
He said he knew
internally he was out.
I just was trying
to take his head off
with my fist.
I wanted to seriously
invoke pain in him.
You never know
when to expect it,
Darren McCarty
said before.
A second later,
I saw Patrick Roy,
the hash marks,
in full stride.
It's an unbelievable scene.
And what happened next
with all this jumping
into the air.
it was like The Matrix.
And look at who stepped in
on Patrick Roy.
The whole game was a war.
Like war all night.
Vernon and Roy!
FEDOROV: Well, it was
personal after that.
And now we have
that family approach.
Families fighting
against each other.
COMMENTATOR: 301 days since they hit on Kris Draper,
and in the best time,
to seek, if you will, revenge,
is maybe when your opponent
least expects it.
McCARTY: I remember
going into the
penalty box,
and Igor's in there,
and I go,
"Way to go, little buddy.
Way to start that stuff."
Clean-up time,
as you can see
by the Red Wings bench.
for Colorado,
maybe 10 or 12 minutes
left in the game.
None of this matters
unless we win.
Now back, Fedorov...
And the
Red Wings at 4...[BUZZER SOUNDS]
Our score is 5-4.
the side of Roy, he scores!
It's in. It went off
the skate of Patrick Roy.
and the game is tied.
We scored two goals
to tie it up.
And we went into overtime.
And now the Red Wings
with their fresher legs.
And it is shown, Larionov...
Look at that play.
He scores!
The Red Wings win!
The Red Wings
have defeated Colorado.
And the Wings with 6-5.
What a piece of artistic work by number 8, Igor Larionov.
Head up,
makes the pass,
and she's over.
It's Hollywood.
That whole game
was Hollywood.
COMMENTATOR: It was a night that certainly belonged to the entire Red Wings team.
We just knew that
we did something special
that night for us.
We're doing well
and before the playoffs,
we decided to have
a nice meal together.
So, we got the music going.
We got the Russian food.
We got the vodka.
It usually happens,
there's a lot of toasts
when you go
to big Russian dinners.
There's a lot
of vodkas involved.
some toasts, obviously,
you know, in Russia.
So, every time,
you can't really just
have a quiet dinner.
You mean toasting
every single, like,
half hour.
'Cause it's a tradition
for those guys.
Yeah, that was good.
It's an advantage.
I mean, I grew up
with Italians.
So, I know that
Italian dinner table
'and stuff like that.
It's just a big celebration.
It was unique 'cause
we hadn't really done that.
One, never been to really
a traditional Russian-style
restaurant before.
We're always
going to a steakhouse.
This was an opportunity
to do something different.
Just to get a taste
of their world,
I tried borscht.
Loved borscht.
I didn't realize
it was beets.
I love beets.
They sort of let us in.
The game was forgotten.
The practices were forgotten.
And we're just in that moment,
having a blast together,
becoming closer.
Everybody was
one the same page.
There wasn't no nationalities, no countries, no colors,
no anything, except
bunch of hockey players
trying to win
a big silver trophy.
I think going
into that playoff year,
we felt like it was our time.
That was our year to win.
Larionov... Score!
A power play goal!
Back passed to Konstantinov,
Kozlov again, he shoots.
Score! Score!
The Red Wings have won it.
Everything was leading
up to Colorado.
We lost Game 1.
They were calling us losers.
They were saying
we were jokers.
They were Stanley Cup champs,
and they were right.
But that game in March
gave us such
a psychological edge.
And we won
the next three games.
COMMENTATOR: Sergei Fedorov has had lots tonight.
He has been
Detroit's best player.
MAN: Yeah!
Final score, 4-2 Detroit.
We weren't afraid of anything.
We felt great about ourselves.
You gotta have a great team
to win the Stanley Cup,
if you have to have
some great players
take over critical moments
of games with pure talent.
Another win for Detroit.
CHERRY: I'll tell you boy, this is going to be a dandy, as I've always said...
Detroit has looked
absolutely dynamite.
They've got to come out
get that first goal.
Colorado has
looked absolutely awful.
It's gonna be
a dynamite game,
I'll tell you.
We came to Detroit for six,
we knew...
We gotta finish them off here.
COMMENTATOR: We are under way. Colorado wins it, there's a game 7.
Detroit wins it, they're going for Stanley Cup finals against the Flyers.
OSGOOD: Whether you
were Viacheslav Fetisov,
a hall-of-famer,
Yzerman, Fedorov,
everybody was the same.
And that's what it takes to win is when everybody's playing the same direction.
We were one.
Without any one of them
we wouldn't have
been able to win.
He took a hit from Fedorov.
We played five and a half minutes and Sergei Fedorov
is down behind
the Avalanche net
after that collision
with Aaron Miller.
At the end
of the first period,
Sergei had left the bench.
It almost just starts
to trickle down,
like the telephone game.
Guy are whispering.
Sergei's got
his equipment off.
Game 6 at home.
We don't wanna go
to Colorado for Game 7.
Sergei had injured ribs.
He said he couldn't breathe.
I said, "He's gonna
need a rib block."
STRADER: With everything that
Sergei Fedorov had
accomplished in his career,
there was still some doubt
about whether he would play
through, you know, real pain.
Vladdy gets up,
Vladdy marches right through
the center of the room
past all of us,
and he marched
into the training room,
And we hear
in a high-pitched
Russian scream,
someone yelling at Sergei.
And then Vladdy came
walking right back
with that stoic face again
and went and sat down.
Vladdy told him it's the last,
like, 10 days of hockey.
And he have a summer
ahead of you
to get healed.
We strapped him up,
and protected him,
and he was able
to get back on the ice.
FEDOROV: At some point,
you have to put your mark
in the history of the game.
Swinging it off,
Fedorov scores!
We were so close,
and the team needed you
You scored the winning goal.
That says a lot about Sergei.
What doesn't kill us
make us stronger.
The Wings and the Flyers
in a Stanley Cup showdown.
STRADER: A huge part
of the psyche of Detroit
is the sports teams.
Maybe because
a lot of what Detroit
has gone through as a city,
they appreciate a good team
that's willing to battle
to get to whatever
level it is that allows them
to be a champion.
OSGOOD: As you can see
the fans and the excitement,
you can see
the pain sometimes,
You can sense it.
We're talking about Detroit.
I'd say resilience
of the city
relates to the Russian Five.
It's our time to give them
what they've been waiting for
for a long time.
REPORTER: These two cowboys from Detroit drove this Zamboni
out of Joe Louis Arena
and arrived just before
the game tonight
here at the CoreStates Center.
When you haven't
won a Stanley Cup
for 42 years,
I don't care how much talent
you may or may not have
on your roster,
you're an underdog.
Jackson 5.
Russian 5. Out in 5.
We were not favorite.
Everybody had us losing
in five or six games.
It was the Legion of Doom
and the Philadelphia Flyers'
time to win the Stanley Cup.
Now we've gotta
make it happen.
Because we just disappointed,
you know, too often.
The Legion of Doom line
is on for the start
of the Stanley Cup
final series.
I went into that building
and they dictated how the
games were gonna be played.
We were quicker,
meaner, and hit harder.
Shanahan is coming up there, winding up, score!
Only the second shot
on goal for Detroit.
They get an early lead.
Now we really had
some excitement building
because they were going back to Joe Louis Arena
with a 2-nothing lead in the series.
We are ready
for Game no. 3.
Let's see if they can
tie it.
Pass it out
to Yzerman, score!
Yzerman ties it
just like that.
And again, score!
And the crowd take
the energy from
the position team,
and you can feel
the fans give you so much...
Shanahan, and Kozlov...
In front, Fedorov scores!
Coming now...
Oh, Konstantinov!
Biggest hit in the series,
right there.
There's nothing wrong
with the hit.
Vladdy, he threw
a lot of hard hits,
but the most memorable for me,
it had thrown off
the Philadelphia Flyers
so much,
it led to a goal
later on that shift.
A nice goal.
Shanahan tipping up the net.
Now he centers it.
YZERMAN: After Game 3,
you couldn't help
but think about the fact
that there was a chance
for this long Stanley Cup
drought to end.
And it was gonna end
at the Joe Louis Arena.
Man, the game's gonna be
exciting. I can't wait
till the game starts.
We're definitely gonna win.
I think it's gonna be a sweep.
American, Canadian,
Swedish, Russian,
they're all Red Wings!
This is the city of Detroit.
The fans here
have their brooms
And their homemade
Stanley Cups on hand.
Because inside
this building tonight,
they may have
an opportunity that hasn't
been here for 42 years.
The chance to see
the Stanley Cup.
FEDOROV: I can only imagine Steve felt every year like...
mountain of Everest
of pressure.
YZERMAN: People are chanting and they've already got their home-made Stanley Cups,
and I was like,
"Probably, we should
win this game tonight.
"It's gonna be
disappointing if we don't."
Yes, here we go, Game 4!
Around the net...
Flyers are skating
a lot better tonight.
And it's causing
a few problems
here for Detroit.
We'd been disappointed
so many times.
We spend all year and when it doesn't happen,
you just don't wanna
get your heart broken again.
But the deeper they went,
the more you got pulled in.
Until then, they were
right up next
to the Stanley Cup
and you're just going,
"Go ahead, break
my heart again. I'm in."
COMMENTATOR: It's kept in by Maltby, to the line... Shot scored!
Lindstrom. One-nothing.
Detroit, the...
It's like a huge relief
to get that goal.
Coming in there...
Beautiful goal!
I'd beat one guy one-on-one
in my whole career, I tell
everybody, "It's all timing.
"Just gonna have to do it
at the right moment."
I remember the play vividly.
Going, "Oh, my God,
I got him beat."
And I look, like
"Don't miss the net."
Explain to me
Darren McCarty's goal.
And I'll explain to you
some of the impact
that the Russian Five had.
We begin the third period.
The crowd sensing
that this is the time.
We shall see.
Please win it here.
I'm here.
I brought my son.
Asking a lot, but still.
Shot, Vernon came back and covered it up.
He was close. If they get a goal here,
then all of a sudden,
we got a finish.
I feel a tap on my shoulder
with, like, two minutes to go,
And it's Atanas Ilitch.
He goes, "Come on."
And I grab Ben.
Game isn't even over yet.
It looks like...
DANIELS: He walks me
down through a hallway,
under the stands,
now we're in the locker room.
And there's 30 seconds
left in the game.
Long shot for the line.
They score!
Philadelphia Flyers
get a goal.
Eric Lindros got the rebound.
STRADER: It's two-nothing. It seems like it's gonna end that way.
But then the Flyers score.
And you look at the clock
and you go,
enough time for this."
Detroit, 2. Philadelphia, 1.
This is kind of way we
always seem to do things.
We can't do it easy.
Please win it here.
Here, now, tonight.
Please, I'm begging you.
But looking around
the building it's like,
"There's no way
we're gonna screw this up."
It was so loud,
it was silent.
We finally won our cup
15 years after I had arrived.
And I'd promised
Marian Ilitch we'd win it
in eight years, so...
It was good that I able
to hang around to see it done.
Jimmy D, congratulations.
What do you think?
Well, we finally
did it this year.
And I'm just thrilled.
Some people think that
the Russians and the Europeans
don't care about
the Stanley Cup.
Your actions obviously show
that is not true, right?
This is not true.
to Mike and Marian Ilitch.
It's my pleasure
to present the Stanley Cup
to Steve Yzerman.
I wasn't sure if this
was ever gonna happen.
This is what we
dreamt about our whole life.
There's the skate
they've been waiting for.
The captain,
Steve Yzerman.
Remember, it was Steve's
14th year? So, he'd
been through a lot.
Organization had
been through a lot.
Steve will pass the cup
to his teammates.
Where the
Stanley Cup goes next
tells you a lot
about the team.
He turned, and he
passes to Slava Fetisov.
How appropriate,
a roaring Joe Louis
for two members
of the former Soviet
Red Army team...
like really special
to us,
and a very, very good
by Stevie, so they are doing
this to two old Russians.
FETISOV: Winning the cup
at 39. It's almost
end of the career.
It probably was
a gift from above.
The happiest day in my life.
I've been playing hockey
for 30 years,
this is a great trophy
and I'm so happy
for everybody.
And for this town of Detroit.
Pandemonium here
in the locker room,
as you can see.
Thank you!
Jeff Daniels is with us.
What's this? What are
you doing here?
What am I doing here?
I'm like the token actor.
Actor, right?
Yeah, big actor.
Big, big famous actor.
Yeah, he's driving
a little motorcycle, right?Yeah.
I'm very happy
for my teammates.
They helped me
win Stanley Cup and...
Now I feel very good.
I want to say thank you
to you, partner,
for your great play,
for being a big part of it.
And have a great summer.
Okay? Bye, partner.
Okay. Thanks.
Russian Five changed
the Detroit Red Wings,
changed the NHL,
changed the
international hockey.
And we had a chance
to see firsthand
what great people they were.
I'd like to thank
Ms. Ilitch, man Ilitch.
to get me,
and help me
to get here to play
in best hockey league
I ever played in my life.
Thank you, guys.
Thank you. I just wanna
say thanks for everybody.
Especially you guys,
because you wait
this cup so long,
and you deserve it.
This goes cup
for you guys, thank you.
I'll be back.
We know about
how good they were.
We know that they were
the last missing piece
for us to win.
But for me, I think,
"Holy cow! I grew up
with all this propaganda,
"The Russians are the enemy."
And here, we bring
the enemy over
they become our friends.
And they make it
all good for Detroit.
Few days later,
the phone rings,
and it'sThe Detroit News.
Breaking news tonight, two
of our hockey town heroes
are in the hospital
and they're in pretty
serious condition.
REPORTER 2: A limousine
carrying Konstantinov,
his teammate Slava Fetisov,
and team masseur,
Sergei Mnatsakanov,
veered off the road
and crashed into a tree
in suburban Detroit.
How badly did the people
appear to be injured?
Not moving around too much.
A tragic ending
to a great week.
It was gonna be the last day
we were gonna be together
as a team
and we just decided
to have a golf outing
at The Orchards
so most of the guys,
they know where it was.
and so we just decided
to take all limos.
MALE REPORTER: Their limo driver fell asleep, left the roadway,
and ended the celebration.
I remember it was
acceleration of the speed.
And then it was the big hit.
And I look...
Vladdy was lying
next to me and...
there was blood
all over the car.
FEDOROV: I'm not crazy
about this subject at all.
I'm not crazy
about this question
about the limo accident.
MAN: Nice shaker...
MAN 2: Nice.
Oh, so sweet.
This was last day
before everybody was going.
And we went
to the golf charity game.
We're not golfers,
you know, and...
We were thinking not to go.
But this is the last day
we can be together
as a team, then everybody
was going home.
Hey, move your car, guys.
Move your car.
We have the
LIDSTROM: We know we're gonna have a few beers on the golf course.
So we all decided
to get out
a bunch of limos.
So no one's gonna have
a few beers and drive
after the gold game.
I pulled into the club
just as a limousine
was pulling out.
And then the limousine stopped and the window rolled down.
And I said,
"Where you guys going?"
You know,
like the night's
just starting.
And they said, "Too much partying all week."
"Too tired."
Not very many words.
And they drove off.
REPORTER: Slava Fetisov
is in fair condition
with a chest injury,
and a bruised lung.
Sergei Mnatsakanov has a significant head injury. He's in surgery at this hour.
He's the team masseur.
Vladimir Konstantinov
in intensive care.
Life-threatening injuries.
Will continue to watch
the situation there
at the hospital.
Vladdy had torsion
at his brain stem
which is the worst
closed head injury
you can have.
I was told that night
that there was less
than a 10 percent chance
of survival.
YZERMAN: The early prognosis
on Slava Fetisov
was pretty good.
Well, I'm happy
to be going home.
Vladimir and Sergei
still need your
thoughts and prayers.
Is Mr. Konstantinov
on a ventilator?
I mean, we're
hearing rumors about...
Please, just quelch
the rumors if you can.
Let's have some facts
to quelch the rumors at least.
Is Vladimir Konstantinov
on a ventilator?
Yes, Mr. Konstantinov
is on a ventilator
at this time.
In a matter
of couple of hours,
like, the greatest moments
of all of our careers
were completely changed
and became very,
very irrelevant.
Our entire organization,
I think that the entire city
feels the same
that we're devastated by
the accident
that occurred last night.
Obviously, we have
great concern for our
teammates and our trainer.
These players were beloved.
And maybe nobody
was more beloved
than Vladimir Konstantinov.
And he was lying
unconscious in a coma.
REPORTER: Since the accident, family members and teammates
have been at his side
doing what they can
to help him recover.
FEDOROV: I remember
all those days
in the hospital.
We don't know
we're gonna win or lose.
I came in almost every day.
I tried to help,
because the doctor said
they wanna give some hope
like, there's people around,
so they can hear you.
A lot of times we would play,
you know, We Are The Champions
'cause that was...
Vladdy really liked
that song after we won.
He'd sing it in broken English and make us all laugh.
REPORTER: Fans have
maintained an around-the-clock
vigil near the crash site.
Sergei Fedorov
stopped by here last night
about 2:40 in the morning.
He appreciated us
being out here and...
It was a real good feeling.
DANIELS: There was such
a love for that team.
For the Russian Five.
For Konstantinov.
That it was as if
a member of your
own family had been
severely injured.
And you can't
believe it. You just...
[SIGHS] You just
can't believe it.
OSGOOD: Throughout the
course of the summer there
was an obvious cloud
over the Stanley Cup
and the celebrations.
And even a sense of guilt
in wanting to celebrate.
KOCUR: I remember going
to training camp that fall,
and it felt like...
A hangover.
I think we might have
skated for an hour a day.
Eh... just bitter.
FETISOV: One thing
to happy for yourself,
you still can walk at least.
Same moment,
realize it's gonna be...
Not the same now on.
Kind of feel like
I could play for both of us.
Maybe another year.
That's kind of mission
I was put in my mind.
You doing your thing
like you got your life.
And then your couple of team members are fighting for their lives.
It's not easy.
Two important members
of our team
cannot be with us tonight.
But here on behalf
of their husbands
are Irina Konstantinov and
Ilina Mnatsakanov.
to show that Vladimir
and Sergei remain
in our thoughts
and prayers each day.
Vladdy got out of the coma
and we knew he wasn't
gonna play again.
To have your life
stripped away like that
was an awful thing.
I'd like to thank
the community of Detroit
for great support and love.
It's a family decision
we've made
that we'd like to transfer
Vladimir at this point
to a different
rehabilitation center
which is not
within the Michigan.
And we do believe that
the better weather condition
will help to
stimulate his recovery.
LIDSTROM: Every day you're
at the rink, you get
reminded of what happened
'cause Vladdy's locker's
right next to mine.
And the guy that
should've been with you,
you know, can't be with you.
I think the only release
the players had was when
they stepped on the ice.
That was their away time
from looking
at Vladdy's empty locker.
Larionov looks to Murphy
Now to Lindstrom.
Will he shoot?
No, Lapointe.
now shoots.
There was like an anger
about us. Anger mixed
with determination.
Front of the net, Fetisov,
back to Lapointe,
Moving in, centers,
score! Kozlov.
Getting it done
for your brother.
We don't really
need to say anything.
We had that...
intuition with each other.
OSGOOD: We went though
the '98 season,
and eventually we
got to the Stanley Cup.
STRADER: The Red Wings
marched through the first
three games of the series.
You just felt that
they were gonna roll over
this Washington team.
For the Detroit Red Wings,
the opportunity to take
the Stanley Cup home again.
Is tonight the night?
You don't know the future.
What happens
with these type of things,
you never know.
And I just said,
"We worked all year
for this moment.
"Make sure you seize it."
When we got to Game 4,
there was probably
10,000, maybe more
Red Wing jerseys
in the building.
And at one point,
there was a whole section of
people stood up and cheered.
And we were watching that
and it was Vladdy up there.
Seeing the other team's
players give him
a standing ovation too,
clapping their sticks,
to show their respect
they have for Vladdy.
Kind of took everything
beyond the game of hockey.
LARIONOV: Back to back,
I say it's not easy.
Everybody knew
how hard for him,
how easy for us.
So that's why people
kind of give their
extra effort or him.
It's our chance.
We have to win that game
no matter what.
We just keep coming at it.
Keep scoring.
Keep assisting each other.
Shift in, shift out.
Because we knew
Vladdy was in the stands.
It's way beyond hockey.
It's the life in-between.
And that's the
whole point of all of it.
I gotta tell you, I cried.
I cried.
FETISOV: This is the moment when you're not gonna be shy of your tears.
And that this
is the moment of...
This is kind of
man tears, you know.
You cannot be ashamed of this.
As I sit here today
in my life,
you know, I couldn't imagine
any one of the Russian Five
not being in it.
'cause they're all
such an integral part.