Fedorov Returns to Russia

Caps winger goes back home

The NHL portion of Sergei Fedorov's career appears to be over.  The Caps forward (and part-time defenseman) is heading back to Russia to play with the KHL's impressively named Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

They signed him to a two-year deal, which pays him almost $4 million per -- a number far higher than the Caps would've been able to pay, and likely far higher than any other NHL team would've been willing to go.  There, he'll play with his younger brother, Fedor.

Feds played a little more than a season with the Caps.  They acquired him during the playoff push in February 2008 for the immortal Ted Ruth. Down the stretch, he gave them steady offense, solid defense and -- as was his hallmark -- leadership on and off the ice.

In a few years, Fedorov is sure to be enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame.  He scored 483 goals, and had a reputation as a ferocious defender, twice winning the Selke Trophy. He won the Hart Trophy for his work in the 1993/94 season, when he scored 56 goals, with 120 points, in a season even Ovie would be proud to have.

And perhaps most importantly, he won three Stanley Cups, all with the Red Wings -- including one in 1997-98 that Caps fans might remember.

The Caps will miss him, but despite his strengths, he's getting up in age, and he hasn't played a full season since 2004.  Combined with the inevitable slippage in performance, re-signing him (even had he wanted to) didn't make sense for the Caps.

The Caps didn't win the Cup with him in the fold, but his Game 7 goal, which knocked out the Rangers in this year's first round is going to stick with Caps fans for a long time.

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