Retired NHL star Fetisov plays in competitive game at 51 with CSKA Moscow

Former NHL star Slava Fetisov took to the ice with CSKA Moscow on Friday, subjecting his 51-year-old body to the pounding of a competitive Continental Hockey League game.

MOSCOW — Former NHL star Slava Fetisov took to the ice with CSKA Moscow on Friday, subjecting his 51-year-old body to the pounding of a competitive Continental Hockey League game.

“It’s a very good game,” a sweaty Fetisov said in televised comments after the first period with the game deadlocked at 0-0. “Both teams are playing at maximum speed. The game is very intense.”

Fetisov’s team lost 3-2 to SKA St. Petersburg.

The defenceman, considered one of the game’s best, ended his professional career at age 40 after winning a second straight Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings in 1998.

Fetisov is now president of CSKA, his childhood club, and a member of the upper house of Russia’s parliament. Several Russian cabinet members and other top officials were among more than 5,000 people who watched the game.

CSKA coach Sergei Nemchinov said he called on Fetisov for Friday’s game against SKA St. Petersburg after defender Denis Kulyash was injured and was counting on the veteran to energize the young team.

But many saw it as a publicity stunt aimed at attracting attention to the sport. Russia has been trying to restore its hockey to the powerhouse status it held before the collapse of the Soviet Union and before many of the country’s best players followed Fetisov in defecting to the NHL.

“For CSKA it’s a super move,” team captain Konstantin Korneyev is quoted as telling the newspaper Sovetsky Sport. “I can’t even imagine how much the interest in our team will grow. The fans will go out of their minds.”

Fetisov’s return led the news on Russia’s state television channels throughout the day.

Darius Kasparaitis, another NHL veteran defender who now plays for SKA St. Petersburg, told the newspaper that Fetisov’s return will produce a wonderful “show on ice.”

But he said SKA, which leads the league’s western division, will play just as aggressively against Fetisov. “Our team is full of angry guys,” Kasparaitis is quoted as saying. “We won’t spare our rival on the ice no matter who he is.”

After morning practice, Fetisov said he was not sure how his body would hold up.

“I skate fairly often, but this is a different game,” he said. “It’s not a show, it’s a real game, so naturally I have worries.”

It was not clear if Fetisov was expected to play for the rest of the season for CSKA, which is sixth in the division.

He will be the first Russian ice hockey player to play at 51. In the NHL, Gordie Howe played the entire season for the Hartford Whalers at the age of 51, scoring 15 goals and adding 26 assists.

Fetisov, who moved to the NHL in 1989, played his last game for CSKA in the national championships in 1988, also against CKA. The St. Petersburg team won 2-1.

Just Posted

Parenting: Every woman will have a different pregnancy experience

Wife whose hormones are unbalanced can be unpleasant experience

Men posing as repo men attempt to steal vehicle in Red Deer County

Two men attempted to steal a utility vehicle from a Red Deer… Continue reading

Red Deerian spreads kindness with one card at a time

One Red Deerian wants to combat bullying by spreading kindness in the… Continue reading

Bowden baby in need of surgery

“Help for Alexis” Go Fund Me account

PHOTO: First Rider bus safety in Red Deer

Central Alberta students learned bus safety in the Notre Dame High School… Continue reading

WATCH: Annual Family Picnic at Central Spray and Play

Blue Grass Sod Farms Ltd. held the Annual Family Picnic at the… Continue reading

Woman has finger ripped off at West Edmonton Mall waterslide

SASKATOON — A Saskatchewan woman says she lost a finger after her… Continue reading

Uncertainty looms over Canada’s cannabis tourism, but ambitions are high

TORONTO — Longtime marijuana advocate Neev Tapiero is ready for the cannabis-driven… Continue reading

Feds mulling safeguards to prevent ‘surge’ of cheap steel imports into Canada

OTTAWA — The federal government extended an olive branch of sorts to… Continue reading

Ontario govt caps off summer session by passing bill to cut Toronto council size

TORONTO — The Ontario government passed a controversial bill to slash the… Continue reading

Updated:Italian bridge collapse sends cars plunging, killing 26

MILAN — A 51-year-old highway bridge in the Italian port city of… Continue reading

Saudi Arabia spat affecting Canadians embarking on hajj, community members say

TORONTO — Members of Canada’s Muslim community say recent tensions between Ottawa… Continue reading

Tug carrying up to 22,000 litres of fuel capsizes in Fraser River off Vancouver

VANCOUVER — The smell of diesel filled the air as crews worked… Continue reading

Nebraska executes first inmate using fentanyl

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska carried out its first execution in more than… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month