Ironically, Fedorov was simply exercising his right to free agency that Ted Lindsay fought so hard to give the players (by creating a palyers' union). Ultimately, for challenging the powers that be in the NHL at the time, Lindsay was stripped of his captaincy and traded to the bottom-of-the-barrel Chicago Blackhawks. Lindsay was a leading player in the NHL and Jack Adams was so irate at him that he actually planted false rumours about Ted and false defamatory comments by Ted against his old team in the press, and showed a fake contract to the press, showing an inflated annual salary. It is hard to imagine a worse seperation than between Lindsay and the Red Wings.
Time and perspective obviously change things. Fedorov was upset at the time of contracts being offered and pulled with little notice and said some inflamatory comments about the Red Wings organization (comparing leaving the Red Wings to leaving communist Russia), but his tone has definitely changed over the years and you would be hard pressed to find nothing but positive comments from Fedorov about the Wings. He is still active in the Detroit community and involved in charities as well. Even Ted Lindsay and the Red Wings were able to bury the hatchet. Ted was able to come back and finish his career as a Wing (once Adams was out, and Abel was in), and even was the NHL Executive of the Year once as general manager for the Wings. His number is now retired and he is an "Honored Member" of the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association.
Let's compare the numbers and awards (while both were Red Wings):
GP Gls Ass Pts Regular Season
862 335 393 728 Lindsay
908 398 543 941 Fedorov
GP Gls Ass Pts Playoffs
123 44 44.. 88 Lindsay
162 50 113 164 Fedorov
Art Ross - Lindsay
1st Team All Star X 8 - Lindsay
2nd Team All Star - Lindsay
1st Team All Star - Fedorov
Pearson - Fedorov
Hart - Fedorov
Selke X 2 - Fedorov
Feodorv is fourth all-time in nearly every offensive category in Red Wings history behind Gordie Howe, Steve Yzerman, and Alex Delvecchio. Only Howe, Yzerman, Delvecchio, and Nicklas Lidström have played more games as a Red Wing.
My comparison to Lindsay is not to say Fedorov was "better" than Lindsay (he isn't), but only that here you have two great, integral players during thier tenure with the Wings, and both left on pretty bad terms.
So I do think Fedorov's number will be retired by the Red Wings and it will be deserved.... but not before #4, #5 and #6!!!
Edited by egroen, 15 October 2008 - 04:26 PM.