Viacheslav Fetisov

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Viacheslav Fetisov
Вячеслав Фетисов
Fetisov in 2015
Member of the State Duma for Moscow Oblast
Assumed office
5 October 2016
Preceded byconstituency re-established
ConstituencyPodolsk (No. 124)
Personal details
Born (1958-04-20) 20 April 1958 (age 66)
Political partyUnited Russia
EducationVIFK (MIoPC)
Ice hockey career
Hockey Hall of Fame, 2001
Height 185 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 98 kg (216 lb; 15 st 6 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Left
Played for HC CSKA Moscow
New Jersey Devils
Detroit Red Wings
HC Spartak Moscow
National team  Soviet Union and
NHL draft 201st overall, 1978
Montreal Canadiens
145th overall, 1983
New Jersey Devils
Playing career 1974–1998, 2009

Viacheslav Alexandrovich "Slava" Fetisov (Russian: Вячеслав Александрович Фетисов; born 20 April 1958) is a Russian former professional ice hockey defenceman and a coach and political and sports figure. He played for HC CSKA Moscow for 13 seasons before joining the National Hockey League (NHL), where he played with the New Jersey Devils and Detroit Red Wings. With the Wings, he won back-to-back Stanley Cups and was part of the team's Russian Five unit. After retiring from his playing career, he became the assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils. Having a very successful four years, he helped get the team to two Stanley Cup finals and one Stanley Cup victory. In addition to that, he won two Olympic gold medals and seven world championships. His Stanley Cup wins, Olympic gold medals, and World Championship wins make him a member of his sport's prestigious Triple Gold Club.

Fetisov was instrumental in breaking the barrier that had prevented Soviet players from leaving the Soviet Union to join the NHL. His actions not only resulted in a number of top Soviet players joining the NHL, but encouraged many of the best players from all over Europe to go to North America.[1] Internationally, he was a long-time captain for the Soviet Union national team[1] and is a two-time Olympic champion. In 2002, Fetisov led the Russian Ice Hockey Olympic team as GM and head coach, attaining a bronze medal. Considered one of the best defencemen of all time, he was voted as one of six players to the International Ice Hockey Federation's (IIHF) Centennial All-Star Team. He was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2005.

After retiring as a coach, Fetisov embarked on a political and executive career. After the 2002 Winter Olympics, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered him the position as Minister of Sport, a post he held until 2008. He has the federal state civilian service rank of 1st class Active State Councillor of the Russian Federation.[2] He is a member of the upper house of the Federal Assembly of Russia, the Federation Council representing Primorsky Krai, the founder and chairman of the KHL's board of directors and chair of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Athletes Committee.[3] Fetisov was president of Russian ice hockey club HC CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). He was also the key member of the bidding committee that presented the Sochi 2014 proposal to the IOC in Guatemala in 2007, when a city was being chosen to host the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Fetisov was Deputy of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation of the VII convocation, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sports, Tourism and Youth Affairs since 5 October 2016. Fetsiov is a member of the Supreme Council of the United Russia party.

Playing career[edit]

CSKA Moscow (1976–89)[edit]

Fetisov debuted for CSKA Moscow's junior team at sixteen years old.[1] He joined the senior team in the Soviet Championship League in 1978–79 and recorded 29 points in 29 games as a rookie. In his fourth season, Fetisov reeled off 41 points in 46 games to be named the 1982 USSR Player of the Year.[1] Four seasons later, he won his second Player of the Year recognition after a 34-point season in 1985–86.[1]

NHL career (1989–98)[edit]

Fetisov soon expressed a desire to play in the NHL and submitted a request to Soviet officials. However, Soviet players defecting to North America was strictly discouraged at the time and his request was met with great resistance. Fetisov has recalled the Soviet Minister of Defence, Marshal Dmitry Yazov, giving him an ultimatum at the time to either apologize or be sent to Siberia.[1] Nevertheless, at the age of 31, helped by the Soviets' newfound glasnost policy, Fetisov led a group of eight Soviet players, including Helmut Balderis, Vladimir Krutov, Igor Larionov, Sergei Makarov, Sergei Mylnikov, Sergei Priakin and Sergei Starikov, into the NHL. Soviet hockey officials agreed to allow Soviet players to play in the NHL as long as they continued to compete internationally for the Soviet Union.[1]

Fetisov had been drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1978 NHL Entry Draft eleven years prior. However, unable to play in North America at the time, he was re-entered into the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, where he was selected by the New Jersey Devils. Fetisov debuted with the Devils in 1989–90 and recorded eight goals and 42 points, both NHL career-highs for Fetisov.

He played in New Jersey until 1994–95, when he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings in April 1995.[1] Fetisov began producing immediately with the Red Wings, scoring 14 points in 14 games to finish the season after the trade. He helped the Red Wings to the 1995 Stanley Cup Finals, where they were defeated by his former team, the Devils. The following season, Fetisov matched his career high in points with 42-points in 1995–96. He was named to his first NHL All-Star Game in 1997, then won back-to-back Stanley Cups with Detroit in 1997 and 1998, before announcing his retirement. He took the Stanley Cup to Moscow after the 1997 championship, where the trophy appeared for the first time in Russia.[1]

One-game return (2009)[edit]

Nearly eleven years after his retirement, Fetisov came out of retirement at the age of 51 to play for CSKA Moscow in a one-game return on 11 December 2009. Head coach Sergei Nemchinov turned to Fetisov, president of the club, in need of a replacement for injured defenceman Denis Kulyash.[4] CSKA Moscow lost the game 3–2 to SKA St. Petersburg.[5]

International play[edit]

On the international stage, Fetisov is one of the most decorated players ever. As a junior, Fetisov competed for the Soviet Union at the European Junior Championships, where he won Top Defenceman honors during the 1975–76 season, en route to two consecutive gold medals at the tournament.[1] He then helped the Soviets to three consecutive gold medals at the World Junior Championships from 1976 to 1978, taking back-to-back Top Defenceman honors in 1977 and 1978.[1]

With the Soviet national team, Fetisov won two gold medals (1984, 1988) and one silver medal (1980) at the Olympics. At the World Championships, Fetisov won seven golds (1978, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1990), one silver (1987), and three bronzes (1977, 1985, 1991). Fetisov also won one Canada Cup in 1981. At the 2002 Olympics, he was head coach of the Russian national team, winning the bronze. Fetisov and teammate Igor Larionov, along with Scott Niedermayer, Corey Perry, Joe Sakic, Patrice Bergeron, Sidney Crosby, and Jonathan Toews are the only players to win the "Grand Slam of Ice Hockey", winning the Stanley Cup, World Ice Hockey Champions, Ice Hockey at the Winter Olympics, World Ice Hockey Junior Championship, and Canada/World Cup Championship.

Coaching career[edit]

Fetisov became an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils following his playing career and won the Stanley Cup with the club in 2000 during his three-year tenure (1998–2001).

Executive career[edit]

Following his tenure as assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils, Fetisov was named general manager of the Russian national team for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City,[1] where Russia won bronze. He was succeeded as general manager by Pavel Bure for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

On 29 March 2005 Fetisov joined the World Anti-Doping Agency's Athlete Committee as its inaugural chairman.[6]

In 2009, he became president of HC CSKA Moscow. Following the injuries of CSKA's several key defenders, Fetisov, aged 51 at the time, came out of retirement to play against SKA St Petersburg in a one-off return.[7]

Fetisov attended the World Hockey Summit in 2010, and discussed wanting to improve KHL's relationship with the National Hockey League (NHL) with respect to transfer agreements and player contracts. The Russian league sought greater financial compensation when its players departed for the NHL, instead of negotiating a flat rate for an unlimited number of transfers.[8]


Fetisov's red uniform (#2) from the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto in 1999
Fetisov and John Kerry on 14 July 2021

In his home country, Fetisov has been awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour in 1984,[9] the Order of Lenin in 1988, the Order Of Service To The Fatherland 4th class in 2000 and 3rd class 2005, the Order Of Honour in 1998, the Order of Friendship in 2007, and two Orders of the Badge of Honor. On October 22, 1981, Russian astronomer Nikolai Chernykh discovered a main-belt asteroid from the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory. The asteroid was named the 8806 Fetisov after Fetisov.

In North America, Fetisov was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on 12 November 2001 along with Mike Gartner, Dale Hawerchuk and Jari Kurri.[1] Internationally, he has been recognized by the IIHF in the International Centennial All-Star Team. He received the most votes out of all players in a poll conducted by a group of 56 experts from 16 countries (54 of which voted for Fetisov) to assemble the historic squad.[10]

Personal life[edit]

He has a daughter, Anastasia, who appeared with him in the 30 for 30 film "Of Miracles and Men."

In June 1985, Fetisov was involved in a car accident that killed his younger brother Anatoly, who was 18 years old at the time and a prospect within the HC CSKA Moscow system.[1]

Twelve years later, following a private party on 13 June 1997 Fetisov, along with teammate Vladimir Konstantinov and team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov, hired a limousine to drive them home after celebrating the Detroit Red Wings' Stanley Cup triumph. The driver, Richard Gnida, whose license was suspended at the time for drunk driving, lost control of the limousine and hit a tree on the median of Woodward Avenue, in Birmingham, Michigan, a suburb north of Detroit. Konstantinov spent several weeks in a coma before finally pulling through. He also suffered from serious head injuries and paralysis, while Fetisov escaped with relatively minor injuries and was able to play the following season. Mnatsakanov sustained heavy head injuries and also spent some time in a coma. The driver was charged and convicted.

In 2023, he expressed outrage at continued suspension of Russian athletes due to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine:[11]

I'm terribly sorry for our athletes, because although I myself participated in competitions against the background of the Cold War, this did not prevent me from taking part in the Olympics, playing in the NHL.

Our athletes are now trapped in a situation where a few weeks before the selection for the Olympics, they still cannot understand whether they will be allowed to qualify or not.

It seems to me that we are not very persistent in our position. It was necessary to sit all day in Lausanne, where all decisions are made [IOC headquarters], and ask the same question every day: "Friends, show us why we were suspended." All the excuses that "we care about the safety of athletes" are about nothing. It's disgusting to hear.

The qualifying competitions will begin in March. And if we don't get a decision on the admission of our athletes to the Olympics now, there may be a situation that our athletes may be completely disoriented and not prepared for the selection. And then we just won't get to the Olympics on a sporting basis.

And we are still hesitating, we are not defending our position as decisively as we could. Now is exactly the time when we need to step up, otherwise our athletes will actually lose a normal chance to compete at the Olympics.


Fetisov was sanctioned by the UK government in 2022 amidst the Russian invasion of Ukraine.[12]

Political career[edit]

During the second stage of the congress of the United Russia party, 2021

From April 2002 to March 2004, Fetisov was Chairman of the State Committee of the Russian Federation for Physical Culture and Sports (Goskomsport).

In September 2003, Fetisov became a member of the Supreme Council of the United Russia party. Since 2003, Fetisov has also actively worked and acted as a member of the Supreme Council of United Russia. Since 2003, he is Acting State Councilor of the Russian Federation, 1st class.

From March to November 2004, Fetisov was Head of the Federal Agency for Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism. From November 2004 to October 2008, he was Head of the Federal Agency for Physical Culture and Sports (Rossport).[13] In November 2007, Fetisov was officially awarded the party card of United Russia.

In September 2008, Vedomosti reported that the Presidium of the General Council of United Russia recommended Fetisov's candidacy for election as a representative of the legislative assembly of Primorsky Krai in the Federation Council (this seat became vacant after Igor Pushkaryov, who represented the regional legislature, was elected mayor of Vladivostok in May of the same year). On the same day, Fetisov consented to become a seaside senator. On 17 October 2008, he was elected a member of the Federation Council from Primorsky Krai. Since 27 October 2008, he has been Chairman of the Federation Council Commission on Physical Culture, Sports, and the Development of the Olympic Movement. Fetisov is a member of the Federation Council Committee on Local Self-Government and the Federation Council Commission on Youth Affairs and Tourism.[14]

On 4 December 2011, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Primorsky Krai; however, being again elected as a representative of the regional parliament in the Federation Council, he refused the deputy mandate. Since 16 December 2011, he has been the First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Social Policy.[15][16]

Since 5 October 2016, Fetisov has been Deputy of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation of the VII convocation and the First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sports, Tourism, and Youth Affairs.[17] Since 16 December 2017, deputy chairman of the board of trustees of the All-Russian Society for the Conservation of Nature.[18] On 12 February 2021, by unanimous decision of all participants of the XVIII Congress of the VOOP, Fetisov was elected Chairman of the Central Council of the All-Russian Society for the Conservation of Nature.[19]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1974–75 CSKA Moscow Soviet 1 0 0 0 0
1975–76 CSKA Moscow Soviet Jr
1976–77 CSKA Moscow Soviet 28 3 4 7 14
1977–78 CSKA Moscow Soviet 35 9 18 27 46
1978–79 CSKA Moscow Soviet 29 10 19 29 40
1979–80 CSKA Moscow Soviet 37 10 14 24 46
1980–81 CSKA Moscow Soviet 47 13 16 29 44
1981–82 CSKA Moscow Soviet 46 15 26 41 20
1982–83 CSKA Moscow Soviet 43 6 17 23 46
1983–84 CSKA Moscow Soviet 44 19 30 49 38
1984–85 CSKA Moscow Soviet 20 13 12 25 6
1985–86 CSKA Moscow Soviet 40 15 19 34 12
1986–87 CSKA Moscow Soviet 39 13 20 33 18
1987–88 CSKA Moscow Soviet 46 18 17 35 26
1988–89 CSKA Moscow Soviet 23 9 8 17 18
1989–90 New Jersey Devils NHL 72 8 34 42 52 6 0 2 2 10
1990–91 New Jersey Devils NHL 67 3 16 19 62 7 0 0 0 15
1990–91 Utica Devils AHL 1 1 1 2 0
1991–92 New Jersey Devils NHL 70 3 23 26 108 6 0 3 3 8
1992–93 New Jersey Devils NHL 76 4 23 27 158 5 0 2 2 4
1993–94 New Jersey Devils NHL 52 1 14 15 30 14 1 0 1 8
1994–95 CSKA Moscow IHL 1 0 1 1 4
1994–95 Spartak Moscow IHL 1 0 1 1 4
1994–95 New Jersey Devils NHL 4 0 1 1 0
1994–95 Detroit Red Wings NHL 14 3 11 14 2 18 0 8 8 14
1995–96 Detroit Red Wings NHL 69 7 35 42 96 19 1 4 5 34
1996–97 Detroit Red Wings NHL 64 5 23 28 76 20 0 4 4 42
1997–98 Detroit Red Wings NHL 58 2 12 14 72 21 0 3 3 10
2009–10 CSKA Moscow KHL 1 0 0 0 0
Soviet totals 478 153 221 374 374
NHL totals 546 36 192 228 656 116 2 26 28 145


Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
1975 Soviet Union EJC 5 1 0 1 0
1976 Soviet Union EJC 4 2 0 2 0
1976 Soviet Union WJC 4 0 0 0 0
1977 Soviet Union WJC 7 3 2 5 4
1977 Soviet Union WC 5 3 3 6 2
1978 Soviet Union WJC 7 3 5 8 6
1978 Soviet Union WC 10 4 6 10 11
1980 Soviet Union OLY 7 5 4 9 10
1981 Soviet Union WC 8 1 4 5 6
1981 Soviet Union CC 7 1 7 8 10
1982 Soviet Union WC 10 4 3 7 6
1983 Soviet Union WC 10 3 7 10 8
1984 Soviet Union OLY 7 3 8 11 8
1985 Soviet Union WC 10 6 7 13 15
1986 Soviet Union WC 10 6 9 15 10
1987 Soviet Union WC 10 2 8 10 2
1987 Soviet Union CC 9 2 5 7 9
1988 Soviet Union OLY 8 4 9 13 6
1989 Soviet Union WC 10 2 4 6 17
1990 Soviet Union WC 8 2 8 10 8
1991 Soviet Union WC 10 3 1 4 4
1996 Russia WCH 4 0 2 2 12
Junior totals 27 9 7 16 21
Senior totals 143 51 95 146 144

Honours and awards[edit]

  • Order of Merit for the Fatherland;
    • 3rd class (4 November 2005) – for outstanding contribution to the development of physical culture and sport, the successful performance of the Russian national team at the XXVIII Olympiad in Athens in 2004
    • 4th class (25 August 2000) – for his great personal contribution to the development of Russian hockey
  • Order of Honour (23 August 1998) – for outstanding contribution to the development of national sport
  • Order of Friendship (6 August 2007) – for active participation in efforts to ensure the victory of the application of Sochi to host the XXII Winter Olympics and XI Paralympics in 2014
  • Order of Lenin (1988)
  • Order of the Red Banner of Labour (1984)
  • Order of the Badge of Honour, twice (1978, 1981)
  • Honoured Worker of Physical Culture, Russia (16 April 2008) – for services in the development of physical culture and sports
  • Silver Olympic Order (IOC)
  • Honored Master of Sports (1978)
  • Badge "For Services to the Moscow region"
  • Stanley Cup (1997, 1998)
  • UNESCO Champion for Sport
  • Inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2005[20][21]
  • "Russian Diamond" (2007) – for his services and achievements in sport


Fetisov was the main focus of the 2014 documentary movie Red Army, among other influential Soviet players.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "One on One with Viacheslav Fetisov". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2016-05-05.
  2. ^ О присвоении квалификационных разрядов федеральным государственным служащим федеральных органов исполнительной власти (Decree 992) (in Russian). President of Russia. 28 August 2003.
  3. ^ World Anti-Doping Agency. "Athlete Committee". Retrieved 2008-04-04.
  4. ^ "Fetisov set to play again at 51". The Sports Network. 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
  5. ^ "51-year-old Fetisov plays game for CSKA Moscow". The Sports Network. 2009-12-11. Retrieved 2009-12-13.
  6. ^ World Anti-Doping Agency (March 29, 2005). "WADA Appoints Members to New Athlete Committee". Archived from the original on April 7, 2008. Retrieved April 4, 2008.
  7. ^ "Viacheslav Fetisov to play for CSKA" (in Russian). 10 December 2009.
  8. ^ Wyshynski, Greg (August 24, 2010). "Top 10 moments, trends, complaints about World Hockey Summit". Yahoo Sports Canada. Retrieved April 11, 2020.
  9. ^ Panorama of the 1984 Sports Year (in Russian). Moscow: Physical Culture and Sports publisher. 1985. p. 37.
  10. ^ IIHF Centennial All-Star Team Archived May 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Фетисов о МОК: «Надо было целыми днями сидеть в Лозанне и задавать вопрос: «На основании чего нас отстранили». Отговорки о «безопасности спортсменов» противно слышать»
  13. ^ Head of the Federal Agency for Physical Culture and Sports
  14. ^ Council of the Federation. Encyclopedic reference
  15. ^ "Положение об Экспертном совете по физической культуре и спорту" [Regulations on the Expert Council for Physical Culture and Sports]. Federation Council. 2012-01-24. Archived from the original on 2012-07-07. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
  16. ^ "Персональная информация члена Совета федерации" [Personal information of a member of the Federation Council]. Federation Council. Archived from the original on 2013-10-08. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  17. ^ "Фетисов Вячеслав Александрович" [Fetisov Vyacheslav Alexandrovich]. Archived from the original on 2017-09-20. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  18. ^ "XVII Съезд ВООП" [XVII Congress of the All-Russian Society for the Conservation of Nature]. Archived from the original on 2018-10-01. Retrieved 2018-10-02.
  19. ^ "История создания" [History]. Retrieved 2023-05-15.
  20. ^ "Вячеслав Фетисов попадет в Зал славы Международной федерации хоккея". (in Russian). Moscow, Russia. 16 December 2004. Retrieved 24 June 2023.
  21. ^ "Former NHLers enter IIHF Hall". CBC Sports. Toronto, Ontario. 14 May 2005. Retrieved 24 June 2023.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Soviet MVP
Succeeded by
Preceded by Soviet MVP
Succeeded by