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Red Wings “tips”: how Americans are lured players from the Soviet Union

Красные Крылья «советов»: как американцы переманивали хоккеистов из СССР

In the history of the Soviet Union there are many “defectors” – people of art, culture, sports, and even scouts, which was lured to the West. They were guided by different motives, but considered the Homeland of traitors and caused mixed feelings among ordinary Soviet citizens.

The story of the legendary “Russian five” has become in the sports world, not only the sensation but also as a legend of the club NHL Detroit Red Wings, and the entire world of hockey. And for domestic fans of “game for real men” and even a source of pride for their Pets.

The background of the “Russian five”

Красные Крылья «советов»: как американцы переманивали хоккеистов из СССРIn the 1930-1940-ies of the legendary club of the National hockey League Detroit Red Wings was one of the leaders in North American hockey. However, since the early 50-ies of XX century, the team began a prolonged decline. Until the early 1980s, years the Red Wings have not won a single trophy.

The team came up with a derogatory nickname – Detroit Dead Wings – “Dead Wings of Detroit.”

New home Detroit Red Wings

Красные Крылья «советов»: как американцы переманивали хоккеистов из СССРIn 1982, the club changed its owners. The new owners of the team – mark and Marian Ilici identified to return the “wings” of their former power and glory. The first step of Ilica was the invitation for the post of chief of team Manager Jim Devellano.

Devellano began to revive Detroit team in 1983, with the signing of the draft Steve Yzerman, who became captain and true leader of the club of the 1980-ies.

The beginning of the “Russian five”

Красные Крылья «советов»: как американцы переманивали хоккеистов из СССРIn 1989 NBA draft by the Detroit Red Wings Manager Jim Devellano “booked” 2 Russian players – Vladimir Konstantinov and Sergei Fedorov. The club management decided to make efforts to get the Soviet players in my team.

The first informal meeting of the representatives of the “Red wings” hockey players was held in 1989 in Finland. Fedorov and Konstantinov were offered “king terms” of the contract is 250 thousand$ per season and 25 thousand$ for their families, remaining in the USSR.

Красные Крылья «советов»: как американцы переманивали хоккеистов из СССРIn June 1990, the USSR team participated in the Goodwill Games, passable in American Portland. After the game against the USA, Sergei Fedorov left the hotel and went with representatives of the Red Wings. Thus began the legendary “Russian five”.

The detective continued

Красные Крылья «советов»: как американцы переманивали хоккеистов из СССРVladimir Konstantinov long time did not dare to accept the offer of Americans. However, using ties and bribery of doctors, the club from Detroit did for hockey a “fake” certificate of a terrible diagnosis with an inoperable sarcoma.

The wife of the athlete obtained permission to travel with her husband for his treatment in the United States. So “terminally ill” hockey player became the second in the future of the legendary “Russian five”.

Красные Крылья «советов»: как американцы переманивали хоккеистов из СССРVyacheslav Kozlov was in Detroit almost “legally”. Hockey player moved to the US for treatment of consequences of accident, and after recovery Kozlov was the player the Red Wings.

Красные Крылья «советов»: как американцы переманивали хоккеистов из СССРCompleted the formation of the “Russian five” in the mid 1990-ies joined the team Vyacheslav Fetisov and Igor Larionov.

 

In 1996, after a long break Detroit Red Wings “Russian five” won the most prestigious trophy NHL – the Stanley Cup.

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