Yzerman Cooking Up A Champion Following Red Wings Recipe #1

Yzerman Cooking Up A Champion Following Red Wings Recipe #1

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Yzerman Cooking Up A Champion Following Red Wings Recipe #1

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What GM Steve Yzerman has done with the Tampa Bay Lightning looks familiar and is a mirror image of the team he helped change from the “Dead Wings” to a Stanley Cup champion. You can’t blame him. The Hall of Fame forward comes by it honestly. He lived the Red Wings way.

Losing in his first trip to the Stanley Cup Final isn’t new for Yzerman. In 1995 the Detroit Red Wings  suffered being swept in the Final by the New Jersey Devils. The organization then overhauled the roster and won it all in 1997, 1998 and 2002 with Yzerman as their captain.

Similarities? Decades later “The Captain” who played with the “Russian Five” now is stockpiling his own group of Russians. Yzerman has his cornerstone defenseman, a Swede at that. He appears to have two goalies that are number ones. His superstar captain has taken a salary discount to remain with the winning franchise.

This is a Bimonthly column looking at the parallels in the building of a championship franchise using the Red Wings blueprint of the nineties.

First up, Sergei Fedorov and Nikita Kucherov.

nkuchetovsfedorov

Sergei Fedorov and Nikita Kucherov have similar career beginnings.

As captain of the Red Wings, Yzerman’s teammates included Sergei Fedorov, Vyacheslav Kozlov, Igor Larionov and  Viacheslav Fetisov. The Red Wings success proved that Russians are adept and tenacious in their quest for the Stanley Cup. Yzerman has filled his Lightning roster with Russians: Nikita KucherovVladislav NamestnikovNikita Nesterov and Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Kucherov was drafted 58th overall at 20 years old while the 21 year old Fedorov was selected 74th. Each are left-handed shots and posses good defensive skills. Fedorov began his career as a solid defender while it took Kucherov some time to develop the ability to play the other side of the ice. Kucherov was a +50 in his first three years and Sergei Fedorov was a +70, both outstanding numbers for such young players.

Kucherov and Fedorov has/had the knack for scoring when it counts. Each had solid game winning goal statistics in their first three years, with nine and 13 respectively.

Both Russians were/are gifted skaters with a wicked wrist shot. Fedorov scored an astounding 97 goals in his first three years while Kucherov netted 68. Certainly Kucherov cannot match Fedorov’s scoring numbers but the foundation is being laid for the Lightning’s sniper to follow a similar path to recognition as a scorer and defender in the NHL.

Nikita Kucherov
Right Wing
Born Jun 17 1993  -- Moscow, Russia 
Height 5.11 -- Weight 178 -- Shoots L


Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning round 2 #58 overall 2011 NHL Entry Draft

                                            --- Regular Season ---  ---- Playoffs ----
Season   Team                        Lge    GP    G    A  Pts  PIM  GP   G   A Pts PIM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2010-11  CSKA Moscow                 KHL     8    0    2    2    0  --  --  --  --  --
2011-12  CSKA Moscow                 KHL    18    1    3    4    4
2012-13  Quebec Remparts             QMJHL   6    3    7   10    2  --  --  --  --  --
2012-13  Rouyn-Noranda Huskies       QMJHL  27   26   27   53   12  14   9  15  24  10
2013-14  Syracuse Crunch             AHL    17   13   11   24   10  --  --  --  --  --
2013-14  Tampa Bay Lightning         NHL    52    9    9   18   14   2   1   0   1   0
2014-15  Tampa Bay Lightning         NHL    82   28   36   64   37  26  10  12  22  14
2015-16  Tampa Bay Lightning         NHL    77   30   36   66   30  17  11   8  19   8
2016-17  Tampa Bay Lightning         NHL     6    1    6    7    0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
         NHL Totals                        217   68   87  155   81  45  22  20  42  22

 

Sergei Fedorov
Center
Born Dec 13 1969  -- Pskov, Russia 
Height 6.01 -- Weight 200

Selected by Detroit Red Wings round 4 #74 overall 1989 NHL Entry Draft

                                            --- Regular Season ---  ---- Playoffs ----
Season   Team                        Lge    GP    G    A  Pts  PIM  GP   G   A Pts PIM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1986-87  CSKA Moscow                 Russi  29    6    6   12   12
1987-88  CSKA Moscow                 Russi  48    7    9   16   20
1988-89  CSKA Moscow                 Russi  44    9    8   17   35
1989-90  CSKA Moscow                 Russi  48   19   10   29   20
1990-91  Detroit Red Wings           NHL    77   31   48   79   66   7   1   5   6   4
1991-92  Detroit Red Wings           NHL    80   32   54   86   72  11   5   5  10   8
1992-93  Detroit Red Wings           NHL    73   34   53   87   72   7   3   6   9  23
1993-94  Detroit Red Wings           NHL    82   56   64  120   34   7   1   7   8   6
1994-95  Detroit Red Wings           NHL    42   20   30   50   24  17   7  17  24   6
1995-96  Detroit Red Wings           NHL    78   39   68  107   48  19   2  18  20  10
1996-97  Detroit Red Wings           NHL    74   30   33   63   30  20   8  12  20  12
1997-98  Detroit Red Wings           NHL    21    6   11   17   25  22  10  10  20  12
1998-99  Detroit Red Wings           NHL    77   26   37   63   66  10   1   8   9   8
1999-00  Detroit Red Wings           NHL    68   27   35   62   22   9   4   4   8   4
2000-01  Detroit Red Wings           NHL    75   32   37   69   40   6   2   5   7   0
2001-02  Detroit Red Wings           NHL    81   31   37   68   36  23   5  14  19  20
2002-03  Detroit Red Wings           NHL    80   36   47   83   52   4   1   2   3   0
2003-04  Anaheim Mighty Ducks        NHL    80   31   34   65   42  --  --  --  --  --
2005-06  Anaheim Mighty Ducks        NHL     5    0    1    1    2  --  --  --  --  --
2005-06  Columbus Blue Jackets       NHL    62   12   31   43   64  --  --  --  --  --
2006-07  Columbus Blue Jackets       NHL    73   18   24   42   56  --  --  --  --  --
2007-08  Columbus Blue Jackets       NHL    50    9   19   28   30  --  --  --  --  --
2007-08  Washington Capitals         NHL    18    2   11   13    8   7   1   4   5   8
2008-09  Washington Capitals         NHL    52   11   22   33   50  14   1   7   8  12
2009-10  Magnitogorsk Metallurg      KHL    50    9   20   29   47   8   1   1   2   4
2010-11  Magnitogorsk Metallurg      KHL    48    7   15   22   40  20   5   7  12  16
2011-12  Magnitogorsk Metallurg      KHL    43    6   16   22   36
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
         NHL Totals                       1248  483  696 1179  839 183  52 124 176 133

(Photo/Christine Gunn)

(Feature Photoshop/Douglas Philp and Tarra Dunlop)

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