Fedorov Signs With Ducks

Archived from 2003-04 season.

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All-Star center Sergei Fedorov signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks on Saturday, leaving the Detroit Red Wings after 13 seasons and three NHL titles.

"I'm very happy that finally I've reached this deal," Fedorov said in a conference call from Moscow. "I'm very excited to be part of the Ducks organization. It's a very young and skillful team. I've known (Anaheim general manager) Bryan Murray for a long time, he was my first coach when I joined Detroit in 1990."

The Red Wings had offered the same amount of money but over four years, but Fedorov announced two weeks ago he would not return to Detroit.

"I do not have any bitterness leaving Detroit. I enjoyed my years in Detroit," Fedorov said. "I'm going to miss the fans. They were great to me. It's been a wonderful ride, but everybody in life at some point has to change direction or place or time, and this is absolutely normal for me to change and move on. I'm excited to take on a new challenge."

The expiration of the NHL's collective bargaining agreement in September 2004 and the anticipated labor troubles affected Fedorov's chances to get more money.

"I got into free agency at a bad time with CBA expiring," Fedorov said. "It was a very big struggle with Detroit. If we didn't have the CBA expiring, I don't think Detroit would have tried to sign me so quickly."

The Ducks had plenty of money to sign Fedorov after losing star free agent left wing Paul Kariya, who had spent his entire career with Anaheim, to Colorado.

"He's one of the best defensive players in hockey," Murray said. "He loves to make plays, but defensively he does the job as well as anyone. He's a strong, hardworking guy. This guy can play for a number of years."

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