Blue Jackets Acquire Sergei Fedorov: MacLean and Fedorov Media Sessions

Tuesday, 11.15.2005 / 12:00 AM / News
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Blue Jackets Acquire Sergei Fedorov: MacLean and Fedorov Media Sessions
Doug MacLean comments from Nov. 15 Press Conference

Opening statement...
“Obviously we have made a trade today, we’ve acquired Sergei Fedorov and a fifth round pick from Anaheim in exchange for Tyler Wright and Francois Beauchemin. Obviously it’s a huge, huge deal.

“I’ve been lucky to spend five years with Sergei in Detroit as an assistant associate coach, I know him well. I just talked with him on the phone and he is really, really excited about the challenge. He’s flying out (to Columbus) tonight. He couldn’t wait to get here and he’s anxious to play tomorrow night. It was thrilling to me to here the excitement in his voice.

“I think the downside of any trade is that you have to trade somebody and Francois Beauchemin, who has only spent a little bit of time with us, is excited about a new opportunity to stay in the NHL. Telling Tyler was really difficult. He’s been a true professional for us, one of the best kids I have ever been around in my career. (Blue Jackets coach) Gerard (Gallant) loved him, our players loved him, our fans loved him, and he’s quality, through and through, what he did for the community. That’s always the most difficult part about any of these deals.”

On Fedorov as a player...
“He is an exceptionally skilled player at his age. He is a thoroughbred type of player, he reminds me of a Nick Lidstrom type of player. He has exceptional skills at that age that he is coming into a challenge with a lot of young players... I think of Nash, Zherdev, and (David) Vyborny, and (Brian) Berard, and Sergei. I watched (Fedorov) play the point on the power-play, he’s a strong penalty killer, he’s won couple of Frank Selke trophies as the best defensive player in the NHL, he’s won a Hart Trophy, he’s won three Stanley Cups, and he still wants to play and is excited about playing the game. It’s really thrilling.

On what effect Fedorov will have on the offense...
“I said last week that I felt with Rich Nash's strengths that I could get by without a premier center. Rick Nash scored 41 goals not playing with a number one center. But when Rick went down, we were challenged offensively. It’s really been challenging for the coaching staff because we have to get some offense there. Take the L.A. game out of the mix – that was a disaster – but we played exceptionally well against Edmonton, played very well at home vs. St. Louis and we had a good game in Calgary and Vancouver. Four out of our last five, we have played well, but, you can’t win if you can’t score. We need Rick back, we need (Gilbert) Brule, and hopefully Sergei can come in and give us a little additional spunk and some other players can pick up the scoring.”

On what he likes about Fedorov...
“What I really like about Sergei is that Gerard has played with Sergei for four years and to watch Sergei come in as a young 20, 21-year-old, and watch him complete he was at both ends of the rink. When I watched him in Phoenix the other night, he won battles in the defensive zone. He got the puck out of the zone, running the puck along the wall with his strength, he is probably one of the best conditioned athletes in the NHL. Yeah, he’s going to be a little rusty, he has only played in five games this year, three at the beginning of the season, then he was bothered by a groin, now he has played the past two. He practiced (Tuesday) and said he felt great. He said he felt great in the back-to-back games this past weekend and he’s ready to go (Wednesday). I think he brings a complete game to us, and that’s important.”

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