Sunday, November 8, 2015

Fedorov Will Need a Few Beers to Settle Down Before Hall of Fame Induction

Russian legend Sergei Fedorov will be one of two former Red Wings to be inducted into the International Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday in Toronto, but he might need former teammate Niklas Lidstrom to make sure he doesn't have one too many before he makes his induction speech.

In an interview with Fox Sports Detroit, Fedorov admitted that the honor of being named a Hall of Famer is a bit overhelming for him. He said he never thought about making it to the Hall and was more focused on the day-to-day of being a pro during his career.

"It's amazing is what I'm trying to say," Fedorov says as he tries to explain the honor. "It still will be an unreal experience. I'm going to have a couple of beers just to settle down."

Fedorov, who is currently tied with Alexander Ovechkin for most goals by a Russian-born NHLer, was an explosive skater that had a knack for magic magic on the fly. "Loved watching him make plays at top speed," Islanders Captain John Tavares said of the 18-year pro. "The way he could skate was effortless. He and Mike Modano were two guys I loved to watch because it wasn't a strength of mine, so I loved to watch the way they could skate and make plays at top speed like that. Not only that, he was a guy that was an all-around player and contributed at both ends of the ice, which was pretty impressive. You could just tell, he was born to skate. He was an effortless skater. He just made it look easy."

Washington Center Niklas Backstrom says it was more than talent that made Fedorov special.

"Unbelievable. Unbelievable guy. Such a nice guy, such a nice person, and such a pro all the way," Backstrom told "I don't think I've met a nicer person, just looking out for everyone, talking to everyone. He's just down to earth, a nice guy. I learned how to act by watching him. I looked at him a lot and saw how he was handling things. Especially when a couple games maybe don't go that well, he was always good to talk to. He would be positive and say, 'You'll get over it.' He taught me a lot."

Fedorov finished 483/696/1179 in 1248 NHL games. He also tallied 52 playoff goals and won three Stanley Cups with Detroit.

Steve Yzerman called Fedorov the best skater he had ever seen.

"Being able to maneuver and stickhandle when he was going full speed is what really sticks out," his fellow Hall of Famer Lidstrom told "He was such a dynamic player being able to do that."