The Russian 5–Federov, Konstantinov, Kozlov, Larionov, and Fetisov–changed the course of Red Wings hockey, and were an integral part of the team’s Stanley Cup runs in the ’90s. In this documentary, airing on DPTV on 12/17 at 9pm, we see how their arrival turned around the beloved Detroit hockey team that was approaching decline in the ’80s. Fred Nahhat talks with former Red Wing, Kris Draper.


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Jeff Daniels, Actor, Season Ticket Holder  Michael. The work ethic that is the Midwest, we have to outwork you.  You went to Yale, I went to Central Michigan University, so I got to work.  I can’t imagine what it was like in Detroit, 1982, the city was beaten 17 percent interest rates, really high unemployment.  You know, it was a mess.

Keith Gave, Detroit Free Press, Beat Reporter  I remember covering hockey games at Joe Louis Arena on what they called “devil’s night”, the night before Halloween.  And there were cars tipped over and burning, and that’s what people remember about Detroit.

Jeff Daniels, Actor, Season Ticket Holder  Back when Detroit was truly the Motor City, and, you know, the 40s when they were jamming cars out of here, that’s gone.  You’re living in a part of the country that everybody thinks is worthless.  And the Redwings have always been a save for the city of Detroit.

Broadcaster Voice  The Red Wings won the Stanley Cup four times within a six-year span with what has been called the greatest team of all time.

Dave Strader, Detroit Red Wings’ TV Play-by-Play Announcer  There hadn’t been a championship in Detroit since 1955 during the glory years of Gordie Howe and the production line with Alex Delvecchio and Ted Lindsay.  Things really started to slide in the 70s and slid even further in the 80s.

Mickey Redmond, Detroit Red Wings, Forward  When I got traded here in 71, things were out of whack pretty good.  The Red Wings were buried so far down I couldn’t see the top.  And it was demoralizing for Wings fan and you can’t blame.

Tom Wilson, Detroit Pistons, President & CEO 1979-2010  There were no fans, there was no excitement, they were always referred to as the dead wings.

Dave Strader, Detroit Red Wings’ TV Play-by-Play Announcer  And I’m sure there was thoughts in this town like what’s going to turn this thing around?

Fred Nahhat, Senior Vice President, Production  What was it like with the fellas in the room?

Kris Draper, Detroit Red Wings, Centerman  You know what we had, we had an unbelievable locker room.  And I know, you know, we obviously had, you know, we had, you know, different personalities.  We had different nationalities, but the one thing that we all shared was, you know, our love for the game of hockey, passion for the game of hockey, and obviously being proud Detroit Red Wings.  And really, that’s all we came together.  And, you know, the amazing thing, when you look at the team that we had and the players that we had, you guys going into the Hall of Fame and there was really no ego in that dressing room and on the ice.  You know, whoever scored, guys were happy for them.  You know, whoever was getting the ice time or the power player, the penalty kill, it didn’t matter.  Guys were truly happy for one another and that’s, you know, that was something that made us so successful in going back-to-back in 1997 winning the cup and then again in 1998.