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Кубок Мира по хоккею 1996 года



Toronto Sun
DETROIT -- It has been only five years since our best battled their best on ice. But it might as well have been 50.
"We're home now. We feel pretty comfortable," a gushing Sergei Fedorov said as Macarena tumbled out of Team Russia's volume-maxed stereo at Joe Louis Arena yesterday.
"This is where the fun begins. It was awful (in Russia). We had so many problems with the Russian (Ice Hockey) Federation. We tried to break through the wall but it was impossible."
Welcome to the 1996 World Cup of Hockey where not only the name has been changed. Listen long enough to Fedorov, the $4-million superstar of the Detroit Red Wings, and you would swear three teams had claimed North America as home turf in this global competition: Canada, the United States and ... Team Russia.
Fedorov, who was born in Pskov, Russia, but lives year-round in a Detroit suburb, sometimes sounds more American than Americans - especially when he's slamming the Russian hockey Czars.
"They treated us at a very low level over there," Fedorov said of Team Russia's just-completed mini-training camp in Moscow. "It's not one thing, it's everything. There's no human-being relationship."
Like Fedorov, Nikolai Khabibulin, perhaps the greatest Russian goalie since Vladislav Tretiak, is more excited now that the action has shifted to North America.
Russia battles Team USA tonight at Joe Louis - its first pre-tournament game since arriving from Germany on Wednesday.
"It was a little different (going home to Russia) this time," said Khabibulin, the MVP of last season's Winnipeg Jets. "I was disappointed about it. It looks like the people don't care about hockey in Russia."
Khabibulin said few fans turned out for the Spartak club tournament earlier this month despite the fact Fedorov, Alexander Mogilny and other top Russians joined in the competition.
"An arena which holds 5,000 was half empty for the games," the goalie said grimly. "I don't think (it was a matter of not being able to afford the tickets). Maybe, it's just because they have so many other things to worry about in their lives."
Igor Larionov, the "L" in the Soviet Union's fabled KLM line, agrees much has changed since the 1991 Canada Cup when East remained separated from West by an Iron Curtain.
But, unlike some of Russia's younger turks, Larionov can still think of no greater service than to represent his country in a world tournament.
"I hope the chemistry is right and that the younger players take it seriously," the 35-year-old Red Wings centre said. "In Russia, they care only about winning the gold. They don't care about second or third.
"Hopefully (Viacheslav) Fetisov (38) and myself can help (motivate) the younger guys and try to win the tournament."


Источник - "Toronto Sun"





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