Yes lets forget that the Wings had the best D corp in the game during those cup runs, Feds was a piece just as Shanny was, and with no cap the Wings did whatever they needed to do to get the best team on the ice. Without 91 the Wings would have got some one to replace him, that was how they operated, when they thought another team was better, Illitch opened up the checkbook.
Lets look at the cup rosters:
96-97 (BTW feds was on the team for 6 years, this was the year they traded for Shanny, hmm who was the missing piece?)
Shanny, Feds, Yzerman, Larionov, Fetisov, Konstantinov, Murphy, Lids, Kozlov, Lapointe, etc...
97-98 had all the same great names and added a very very good young goaltender to the roster.
Was feds important, damn straight, was he the main reason, no! No one was, the whole team was amazing,
Team D was unreal, hard, physical team to play against, with high end talent, Feds added a dimension of speed and high end talent, no doubt about it.
And your argument that Feds was against the top lines of the other teams is pretty moot considering at this time (and I could be wrong) Feds, Shanny, and Yzerman spent a fair amount of time on the ice together.
To say Feds is responsible for any of the championships in Det is ridiculous, especially the 02 one; in which if it weren't for a one legged Yzerman barely picking himself up of the ice, using his stick as a crutch to get up, single handidly carrying the team past Vancouver, which if Feds had done in 93-94 or 00-01 maybe I think differently of him.
The D and the style of play got them the back to back cups, 2002 Yzerman willed them through the first round, then the team took over after that.
Feds was great, not jersey in the Joe Rafters great.
I completely disagree with eveything you said in your post and here is why...You say Fedorov could have been replaced. With who? That is pure speculation. Number one centres do not grow on trees and teams who have them hardly ever trade them. Your logic is seriously flawed here. At the time, say 1996, who would Bowman (GM at the time) have replaced Fedorov with? Joe Sakic? Peter Forsberg? Yeah, I am sure the Avs would have been willing to trade 1 of those players to their hated arch rivals. Eric Lindros? The point here is that there was no one who was going to replace Fedorov in the line-up. Why do you think the Wings matched Carolina's offer sheet in 1998? They knew he could not have been replaced which is why they paid the high price of keeping him.
Your point is moot and nothing but speculation yet again regarding time on the ice. Did Shanny kill penalties? Who was on the ice more on the penalty kill than Fedorov was? Lidstrom? Amongst the forwards, Fedorov was relied on the most by Bowman. He even said it himself numerous times. You know just because you don't like Fedorov doesn't mean he wasn't a great hockey player. Your refer to 2002. Yzerman playing on 1 leg was great. However do you really believe the Wings win that Cup without Fedorov? Yzerman didn't add much scoring wise after the Canucks series. Fedorov was our best player. We don't win anything that year without him. To think otherwise makes you look like you don't know anything about the game. You do not like Fedorov and are basing your flawed argument on it.
I also do not believe we win any of those Cups without Lidstrom. He was that important. It isn't Fedorov' fault he had talented players around him. He made those guys better as well. You don't appreciate Fedorov's career, that is your opinion. Not mine.
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