Fedorov leaves NHL, signs in Russia

Updated: June 25, 2009, 5:51 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

MOSCOW -- Six-time NHL All Star Sergei Fedorov has signed a two-year contract with Metallurg Magnitogorsk, the Russian club said.


Fedorov, 39, was negotiating with several NHL teams but decided to return to Russia, ending an 18-year career that included winning three Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings and capturing the Hart Trophy as the league MVP in 1994.

He joined the Washington Capitals from Columbus in February 2008, helping them to the Stanley Cup playoffs for the past two seasons. They lost to the eventual champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference semifinals this year.

Fedorov had 11 goals and 22 assists last season and scored the winning goal in the third period of Game 7 of the first-round series victory over the New York Rangers. He has 483 goals and 696 assists in 1,248 NHL games.

Fedorov's agent, Pat Brisson, called the Capitals on Thursday to inform them of the 39-year-old forward's decision. Fedorov was set to become a free agent next week.

The lanky center also played for Russia at last year's world championship, where they beat archrival Canada in a dramatic final to take the gold and end a 15-year title drought.

At Metallurg, Fedorov will be reunited with his younger brother Fedor Fedorov, who signed a two-year deal with the club this year.

"He wants to join his brother [Fedor] there. It's a dream for his father for the two of them to play together. It's nothing against the Washington Capitals, but this is very important for [his] family," Brisson told ESPN.com.

Brisson did not divulge any contract details, but the two-year deal is believed to be close to $4 million annually.

Fedorov became the latest high-profile player to leave the NHL and join the Continental Hockey League (KHL), which was formed last year with teams from Russia and its former Soviet neighbors, Belarus, Latvia and Kazakhstan.

Fellow Russian Viktor Kozlov, Fedorov's teammate at Washington, joined KHL champions Salavat Yulaev Ufa last month.

Information from Reuters, The Associated Press and ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun was used in this report.