|Viacheslav Alexandrovich Fetisov
Height: 6' 1", Weight: 215 pounds
Born: 4.20.58 Moscow, Russia
|How he arrived: Via Entry Draft
How he left: Traded to the Detroit Red Wings for their 3rd Round Pick in the 1995 E.D., 4.3.95
|Regular Season Statistics with the Franchise
Stats in bold signifies team leader.
When I first heard of Slava and him being billed as "the Russian Bobby Orr," I was excited. And looking forward to the
day he would get to don the Devils red.
One road block stood in his way, though: while he was playing in his homeland, he was also a member of the Red
Army. He couldn't just pick up and leave from service like that. The establishment wouldn't allow it.
So he decided to force the issue and sign a contract with the Devils in 1988. However, he was denied release from the
Red Army by Soviet authorities. This signing was also just another chapter in the feud between him and coach Viktor
Tikhonov that started at the Olympics that year.
Fast forward to the winter of 1989. The Red Army team would tour the East Coast and play, among other teams, the
Devils, in a series of exhibition games. Slava was cheered by the Meadowlands faithful throughout and even scored a
goal that night in the Red Army's 5-0 win. It was evident after that game, and Slava even said so himself: he wanted to
play in New Jersey NOW.
So after he returned home, he left the Red Army team, but was still obligated to his military service. He was also denied
a spot on the Soviet National Team for the World Championships, but in a move of solidarity, the rest of the team
threatened to walk if Slava was kept off. Slava was reinstated, and after the Worlds, along with the defection of
Alexander Mogilny, it was announced that Soviet players would be allowed to play in the NHL.
The sacrifices some men go through...
Once in New Jersey, he remained a solid player on the backline, still using what brought him to the dance: his instincts
and his mobility. However, come 1995, he did not figure into the team's plan. Understandable; he was just shy of his
37th birthday when he got traded to Detroit. He missed out on winning the Cup with the Devils, but was still present to
see his former teammates raise it.
He would raise it twice himself as a player finally. Even arranged the Cup's first trip to Russia in 1997. He would get it
one more time as a Devils' assistant coach in 2000.
His years of stardom back home and being a pioneer in how Soviet hockey was gonna change ultimately got him into
the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.
After his time as coach, he moved on to executive. His first task was the GM of Team Russia for the Salt Lake City
games in 2002, where they won bronze. Later in the decade (2009), he was named the president of the Red Army
team. During his first season, the team was overwhelmed by injuries on defense. It lead to him signing a player
contract for the rest of the season. In between, he was the Minister of Sport in Russia.
Currently, he is the Primorsky Krai's representative of the Russian Federal Assembly, as well as a member of the
KHL's Board of Directors. He was also a key part of the bidding committee to bring the 2014 Winter Olympics to
|Entry Draft: 1983 Eighth Round Pick (145th overall) by the
New Jersey Devils
|Playoff Statistics with the Franchise