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How Late Is It In Moscow?
By Victor Cabrera
Bob Murray no more, the team has just announced he has resigned from his general manager and vice president position(s) with the Anaheim Ducks.
This decision was made after a meeting between Henry Samueli and Bob Murray due to an internal investigation concerning Bob Murray’s behavior around team employees. It’s no secret that the fans have been displeased with Bob Murray as the GM of the Anaheim Ducks for years. He’s been criticized for his poor assessment management and his view of the team as a playoff contender. The fans wanted him gone and the contract extension he received from the Samuelis had sat as a questionable decision.
The day has come and with Bob Murray gone Jeff Solomon is now the interim general manager. Will the Samuelis look for a new permanent general manager? Who is a candidate?
These questions are not meant to undermine Jeff Solomon who has stepped up to fill the position momentarily but now is the time to shop a general manager especially with the key assets Anaheim has for their near future. The team can now look for a general manager if they choose so. It’s no process to rush and can even be fulfilled completely by Solomon if the Samuelis decide he is the man for the job. However there may be a candidate on the other side of the world and with the vacancy of general manager in Anaheim it’s worth the long distance call.
Who better to call than a former Mighty Duck, a 3x stanley cup champion, hockey hall of famer, and one of the best to ever play in the NHL, Segei Fedorov?
The russian center arrived in Anaheim the summer of 2003 and had a two year stint with the team. But why Fedorov? Since 2012-2013 he’s been the General Manager in the KHL for CSKA Moscow and most recently appointed coach this past summer for the club. He had talented players on his roster in the KHL such as Kirill Kaprizov and Alexander Radulov.
More importantly Fedorov knows the championship environment in the NHL. He has plenty of experience as a player which is beneficial to a team like Anaheim that is rebuilding. It wouldn’t be a random hire as he has the general manager experience in hockey although the KHL is very different salary cap wise. Having played in Anaheim and choosing to do so over Detroit is something that Samuelis can chat with him about if the call is made to Sergei. It’s important to note that there’s other teams in the NHL who have former players as part of their front office.
Former teammate Steve Yzerman is an example. Yzerman helped rebuild Tampa Bay which has led them to back to back cups, although he left his position in 2018. But Steve wasn’t inactive for too long as he became the general manager of the Red Wings in 2019, the team whom he played for his whole career. Yzerman is known to be an amazing general manager and former player. He’s made some stellar trades and is known to be a master of deals. He’s taken the responsibility of rebuilding the club he played his entire decorated career for and only time will tell how he does.
Wayne Gretzky the Great One was part owner and coach of the then Phoenix Coyotes till their financial issues had him part ways. Gretzky is Vice Chairman of Oilers Entertainment Group. The team which he played and won Lord Stanley with. Gretzky has shown his love for the Oilers and their future.
Mario Lemieux is another former player who holds power with his former team. Lemieux has been owner of the Penguins since 1999, he’s won 5 cups with the team, 2 as a player and 3 as an owner including back to back cups in 2016 and 2017.
Fedorov was one of the best players alongside Yzerman, Gretzky, and Lemieux. These 3 former players all competed with Fedorov during their playing careers and they all have said amazing things about him. Can Fedorov replicate what Yzerman, Gretzky, and Lemieux have done post playing career in the NHL?
The Samuelis should place a long distance call and talk with Sergei Fedorov about a potential reunion as a general manager. Maybe CSKA Moscow won’t grant permission to speak with their general manager and coach which is understandable, however the Samuelis should take the first step and attempt to gain permission.
Furthermore all three parties would have to approve anything down the line to bring Sergei Fedorov back to the NHL as a General Manager. Fedorov probably isn’t the top choice or even on the radar but given his accolades and knowledge he very well could be just as successful in the NHL as a general manager as he was a player.
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November 11th, 2021