Viacheslav Fetisov: Wikis


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Born April 20, 1958 (1958-04-20) (age 51),
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
215 lb (98 kg; 15 st 5 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Left
Pro clubs NHL
New Jersey Devils
Detroit Red Wings
CSKA Moscow
Spartak Moscow
Ntl. team  Soviet Union
NHL Draft 145th overall, 1983
New Jersey Devils
Career 1977 – 2009
Hall of Fame, 2001

Viacheslav "Slava" Alexandrovich Fetisov (Russian: Вячеслав (Слава) Александрович Фетисов, Vjačeslav (Slava) Aleksandrovič Fetisov; born April 20, 1958, in Moscow, Soviet Union, now Russia) is a retired professional ice hockey defenseman. He played for HC CSKA Moscow for 11 seasons before joining the National Hockey League (NHL), where he played with the New Jersey Devils and won back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings. Fetisov was instrumental in breaking the barrier that stopped Soviet players from joining the NHL.[1] Internationally, he was a long-time captain for the Soviet Union national team[1] and won two gold medals at the Winter Olympics. Considered one of the best defensemen of all time, he was voted as one of six players to the International Ice Hockey Federation's (IIHF) Centennial All-Star Team.

After retiring as a player, Fetisov embarked on a political and executive career. He is currently a member of the upper house of the Federal Assembly of Russia, president of professional Russian hockey club HC CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), chairman of the Board of Directors of the KHL and chair of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Athletes Committee.[2] He was also the Minister of Sport in Russia from 2002 to 2008.


Playing career


CSKA Moscow (1978–89)

Fetisov debuted for CSKA Moscow's junior team at sixteen years old.[1] He joined the senior team in the Soviet Championship League in 1978–79 and recorded 29 points in 29 games as a rookie. In his fourth season, Fetisov reeled off 41 points in 46 games to be named the 1982 USSR Player of the Year.[1] Four seasons later, he won his second Player of the Year recognition after a 34-point campaign in 1985–86.[1]

NHL career (1989–98)

Fetisov during the 2008 All-Star Legends Game in Toronto.

Fetisov soon expressed a desire to play in the NHL and submitted a request to Soviet officials. However, Soviet players defecting to North America was strictly discouraged at the time and his request was met with great resistance. Fetisov has recalled the Soviet minister of defense giving him an ultimatum at the time to either apologize or be sent to play in Ukraine.[1] Nevertheless, at the age of 31, helped by the Soviets' newfound glasnost policy, Fetisov led a group of eight Soviet players, including Helmut Balderis, Vladimir Krutov, Igor Larionov, Sergei Makarov, Sergei Mylnikov, Sergei Priakin and Sergei Starikov, into the NHL. Soviet hockey officials agreed to allow Soviet players to play in the NHL as long as they continued to compete internationally for the Soviet Union.[1]

Fetisov had been drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1978 NHL Entry Draft eleven years prior. However, unable to play in North America at the time, he was re-entered into the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, where he was selected by the New Jersey Devils. Fetisov debuted with the Devils in 1989–90 and recorded eight goals and 42 points, both NHL career-highs for Fetisov.

He played in New Jersey until 1994–95, when he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings in April 1995.[1] Fetisov began producing immediately with the Red Wings, scoring 14 points in 14 games to finish the season after the trade. He helped the Red Wings to the 1995 Stanley Cup Finals, where they were defeated by his former team, the Devils. The following season, Fetisov matched his career high in points with a 42-point campaign in 1995–96. He was named to his first NHL All-Star Game in 1997, then won back-to-back Stanley Cups with Detroit in 1997 and 1998, before announcing his retirement. He took the Stanley Cup to Moscow after the 1997 championship, where the trophy appeared for the first time in Russia.[1]

One-game return (2009)

Nearly eleven years later after his retirement, Fetisov came out of retirement at the age of 51 to play for CSKA Moscow in a one-game return on December 11, 2009. Head coach Sergei Nemchinov turned to Fetisov, president of the club, in need of a replacement for injured defenseman Denis Kulyash.[3] CSKA Moscow lost the game 2–3 to SKA St. Petersburg.[4]

International play

Olympic medal record
Ice hockey
Gold 1984 Sarajevo Men
Gold 1988 Calgary Men
Silver 1980 Lake Placid Men

On the international stage, Fetisov is one of the most decorated players ever. As a junior, Fetisov competed for the Soviet Union at the European Junior Championships, where he won Top Defenseman honors during the 1975–76 season, en route to two consecutive gold medals at the tournament.[1] He then helped the Soviets to three consecutive gold medals at the World Junior Championships from 1976 to 1978, taking back-to-back Top Defenseman honors in 1977 and 1978.[1]

With the Soviet national team, Fetisov won two golds (1984, 1988) one silver (1980) in the Olympics, and seven golds (1978, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1990), one silver (1987), two bronzes (1985, 1991) in the World Championships, one Canada Cup in 1981, and Ice Hockey World Junior Championship in 1978. At the 2002 Olympics, he was head coach of the Russian national team, winning the bronze. Fetisov and team mate Igor Larionov, along with Scott Niedermayer and Joe Sakic, are the only players to win the Stanley Cup, World Ice Hockey Champions, Ice Hockey at the Winter Olympics, World Ice Hockey Junior Championship, and Canada/World Cup Championship.

Coaching career

Fetisov became an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils following his playing career and won the Stanley Cup with the club in 2000 during his three-year tenure (1999-2002).

Executive career

Following his tenure as assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils, Fetisov was named general manager of the Russian national team for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City,[1] where Russia won bronze. He was succeeded as general manager by Pavel Bure for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

On March 29, 2005, Fetisov joined the World Anti-Doping Agency's Athlete Committee as its inaugural chairman.[5]

In 2009, he became president of HC CSKA Moscow. Following the injuries of CSKA's several key defenders, Fetisov, aged 51 at the time, signed a player's contract until the end of 2009/2010 season, resuming his playing career after eleven years.[6]


Fetisov's red uniform (#2) from the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto in 1999.

In his home country, Fetisov has been awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour in 1984,[7] the Order of Lenin in 1988, the Order Of Service To The Fatherland 4th class in 2000 and 3rd class 2005, the Order Of Honour in 1998, the Order of Friendship in 2007, and two Orders of the Badge of Honor. On October 22, 1981, Russian astronomer Nikolai Chernykh discovered a main-belt asteroid from the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in Ukraine. The asteroid was named the 8806 Fetisov after Fetisov.

In North America, Fetisov was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 12, 2001, along with Mike Gartner, Dale Hawerchuk and Jari Kurri.[1] Internationally, he has been recognized by the IIHF in the International Centennial All-Star Team. He received the most votes out of all players in a poll conducted by a group of 56 experts from 16 countries to assemble the historic squad.[8]

Personal life

In June 1985, Fetisov was involved in a car accident that killed his younger brother Anatoly, who was 18 years old at the time and a prospect within the HC CSKA Moscow system.[1]

Twelve years later, following a private party on June 13, 1997, Fetisov, along with teammate Vladimir Konstantinov and team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov, hired a limousine to drive them home after celebrating the Detroit Red Wings' Stanley Cup triumph. The driver, Richard Gnida, whose license was suspended at the time for drunk driving, lost control of the limousine and hit a tree on the median of Woodward Avenue, in Birmingham, Michigan, a suburb north of Detroit. Konstantinov spent several weeks in a coma before finally pulling through. He also suffered from serious head injuries and paralysis, while Fetisov escaped with relatively minor injuries and was able to play the following season. Mnatsakanov sustained heavy head injuries and also spent some time in a coma. He has had a considerably more difficult recovery than Konstantinov. The driver was charged with and convicted of driving with a suspended license.

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1978–79 HC CSKA Moscow USSR 29 10 19 29 40
1979–80 HC CSKA Moscow USSR 37 10 14 24 46
1980–81 HC CSKA Moscow USSR 13 16 29 44
1981–82 HC CSKA Moscow USSR 46 15 26 41 20
1982–83 HC CSKA Moscow USSR 43 6 17 23 46
1983–84 HC CSKA Moscow USSR 44 19 30 49 38
1984–85 HC CSKA Moscow USSR 20 13 12 25 6
1985–86 HC CSKA Moscow USSR 40 15 19 34 12
1986–87 HC CSKA Moscow USSR 39 13 20 33 18
1987–88 HC CSKA Moscow USSR 46 18 17 35 26
1988–89 HC CSKA Moscow USSR 23 9 8 17 18
1989–90 New Jersey Devils NHL 72 8 34 42 52 6 0 2 2 10
1990–91 New Jersey Devils NHL 67 3 16 19 62 7 0 0 0 15
1991–92 New Jersey Devils NHL 70 3 23 26 108 6 0 3 3 8
1992–93 New Jersey Devils NHL 76 4 23 27 158 5 0 2 2 4
1993–94 New Jersey Devils NHL 52 1 14 15 30 14 1 0 1 8
1994–95 New Jersey Devils NHL 4 0 1 1 0
1994–95 Detroit Red Wings NHL 14 3 11 14 2 18 0 8 8 14
1995–96 Detroit Red Wings NHL 69 7 35 42 96 19 1 4 5 34
1996–97 Detroit Red Wings NHL 64 5 23 28 76 20 0 4 4 42
1997–98 Detroit Red Wings NHL 58 2 12 14 72 21 0 3 3 10
2009–10 HC CSKA Moscow KHL 1 0 0 0 0
USSR totals 367 141 198 339 314
NHL totals 546 36 192 228 656 116 2 26 28 145
KHL totals 1 0 0 0 0


External links

Preceded by
Sergei Makarov
Soviet MVP
Succeeded by
Vladimir Krutov
Preceded by
Vladislav Tretiak
Soviet MVP
Succeeded by
Vladislav Tretiak


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