Wings GM: Time to discuss retiring Fedorov’s No. 91

The Detroit News

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland seems to be leaving the door opening for retiring Sergei Fedorov’s No. 91.

Speaking on the “Jamie and Stoney” show on 97.1 The Ticket (WXYT-FM) on Tuesday, Holland said it’s probably time to have discussions as the Red Wings prepare to move from Joe Louis Arena to Little Caesars Arena in the fall.

“I certainly think we have to have that discussion,” Holland told Mike Stone. “Certainly he had a tremendous career and I think he was one of the best Red Wings players in the history of the Red Wing franchise.

“Certainly I think that Mrs. Ilitch, Chris Ilitch, Tom Wilson, Jimmy Devellano, myself, all the people that are involved probably have to have a conversation about Sergei.”

When Stone suggested Holland was in favor of retiring No. 91, Holland paused and said, coyly, “We have to have a conversation.”

Fedorov, 49, played 10 seasons with Detroit, winning three Stanley Cups.

But there were hard feelings between Fedorov and ownership, including the late Mike Ilitch, for a couple reasons — including the $28-million offer sheet he signed with the Carolina Hurricances that the Red Wings felt forced to match during his holdout at the start of the 1997-98 season, and leaving as a free agent for the Anaheim Ducks following the 2002-03 season, despite a more lucrative offer from the Red Wings.

Still, he arguably had as much of impact on the Red Wings’ success as the likes of Nicklas Lidstrom and Steve Yzerman, who had their numbers retired shortly after retirement.

“They were no-brainers and it was done immediately,” Holland told 97.1, speaking of Lidstrom and Yzerman. “Certainly with Sergei, leaving the organization before his career had ended, we talked about the offer sheet, probably were factors that played into where we are now.”

Fedorov was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015.