On Thursday afternoon the Detroit Red Wings announced some noteworthy additions to their 2012 Sirius XM Hockeytown Winter Festival Alumni Showdown lineup with the aid of a highlight package that will give any die-hard ‘Wings fan the chills.
The Russian Five are back! Well, sort of. While it’s great to see the names Sergei Fedorov, Viacheslav Fetisov, Vladimir Konstantinov, and Igor Larionov filed under “participating,” (though it’s not clear exactly what Konstantinov’s level of participation will be) one member of the famed line combination is noticeably absent from the announcement.
“The final member of the ‘Russian Five,’ forward Vyacheslav Kozlov, is waiting until his Kontinental Hockey League schedule is determined before making a commitment to attend the Hockeytown Winter Festival, a Red Wings spokesman said Thursday.”
Considering the team chose to move forward with the announcement without him, it would appear that Kozlov’s presence at the Winter Festival events is unlikely; they waited for Fedorov after all.
Ken Holland said he spoke to Fedorov a few weeks ago in Detroit. However, Sergei needed clearance from CSKA Moscow bosses before committing.
— The Wheel Deal (@Bill_Roose) August 2, 2012
Kozlov isn’t the only alumnus the Red Wings will be waiting to hear from either, and he’s far from the biggest name on the list of “questionable to attend” former players as well.
Brendan Shanahan, the NHL’s current Vice President of Hockey and Business Development and head disciplinarian hasn’t been officially added to the roster yet, but he was clearly intent on hitting the ice when the annual Winter Classic festivities were announced in February.
The Wings have talked to Brendan Shanahan about playing, he told them he'd put the screws on Steve Yzerman to come, too.
— Freep Red Wings (@freepwings) February 9, 2012
It looks like they’ll need that strong-arming too. Yzerman, the current GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning, has been very clear about his intentions from the start.
“At this time I don’t plan on participating in the alumni game but hope to watch the (Winter) Classic on TV.”
The only words Detroit’s latest retiree, Nicklas Lidstrom, has provided on the subject came back on June 1, and they weren’t exactly insightful comments.
“No, I haven’t been approached by the alumni game, and I haven’t even given it much thought. That’s something I haven’t thought a whole lot about.”
Other well-known former Wings that could potentially suit up include Martin Lapointe, Paul Coffey, Brett Hull, Brian Rafalski, Dominik Hasek and Mathieu Schneider, just to name a few.
Those who do choose to play will join an already star-studded cast of players consisting of Alex Delvecchio, Kris Draper, Mickey Redmond, Gordie Howe, Luc Robitaille, Dino Ciccarelli, Darren McCarty, John Ogrodnick, Joe Kocur, Ted Lindsay, Kirk Maltby, Chris Chelios, Jiri Fischer, Mark Howe, Larry Murphy, Mike Vernon, Chris Osgood, coaches Scotty Bowman and Barry Smith, and today’s “Russian 4” members.
The Alumni Showdown, which will feature two games and approximately 100 players, is schedule for New Year’s Eve 2012.
UPDATE: Martin Lapointe, Red Berenson, Jimmy Carson, Dennis Polonich, Paul Ysebaert, Gary Unger, Dallas Drake, Petr Klima, Paul Coffey, Mathieu Dandenault, and Aaron Ward have all been added to the roster.