Sergei Fedorov: “No hard feelings against Bowman. Now” (Photo © Elsa/Getty Images)
Former Detroit Red Wing Sergei Fedorov sit down for an interview with KHL magazine “Hot Ice”, where he talked about his escape in the United States after the USSR collapse and about the adaptation towards a new way of live. But the most interesting part was when he talked about his relationship with Scott Bowman.
I understand it now: Scotty Bowman had too many hot potatoes on his hands that he needed to juggle to keep the team successful. But back then, I think North American coaches still hadn’t realized that Russians play every game from the heart, that it’s not routine. For years those reproaches were all we heard: “The Russians have no idea what a playoff is, they haven’t felt the Stanley Cup…” Nowadays, plenty of people have proved that wasn’t the case. Look at Zhenya Malkin! If they had let us show what we could do back then the way they’re letting him in Pittsburgh, there would have been a nuclear revolution in hockey. Although, then the outflow of Russian hockey players leaving for the NHL would have been even stronger. So there were pluses and minuses to that underestimation.
And when he asked if he holds a grudge against Scott Bowman, he replied:
There’s no point holding a grudge for so many years. You only make yourself worse. But I really didn’t understand it then.
He also looked to haven’t forget the popular claim made by his former head coach, who said that “Fedorov has got anything but a big hearth”.
If he really did say something like that, then that’s the only reason. I wouldn’t have understood it then, of course, but I do now. Had he tried to say something like that about a Canadian or an American I think they would have just fired him. But you could say that about a Russian. Whom do we have to complain to?
Fedorov also found the time to claim the superiority of the Soviet hockey of old even over the Canadians:
You know, I’ve been re-watching the 1972 Summit Series. Take a look at how the U.S.S.R. team started played after the guys’ nerves quieted down! They tore Canada apart – 7-3. Look at the merry-go-round they had going in their opponents’ zone, and in the neutral zone, too! There’s no one now who can play that kind of hockey – no one has that kind of mastery, that kind of mutual understanding.