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The skates were different due to their unique colours and design, and he promoted it through a series of commercials for Nike.Steve Yzerman, speaking to a reporter on Fedorov a few weeks after turning the tide on a January 30 game that season that ended in a 4–2 victory for the Red Wings over the Toronto Maple Leafs, said, "Sergei is a game-breaker for us anytime he's on the ice. He's the most talented player I've ever seen." The Red Wings season ended in disappointment when they were defeated by the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference Finals 4 games to 2.Nevertheless, the Red Wings did match the offer and paid the bonus.The million Detroit paid Fedorov for 43 total games in 1997–98 is the largest single season amount paid to an NHL player.Fedorov was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, fourth round, 74th overall.In 1990, while CSKA Moscow was in Seattle for the Goodwill Games, Fedorov quietly slipped out of his hotel room and onto an airplane bound for Detroit, thus becoming one of multiple future NHL stars to have defected from the Soviet Union to play in the League.
Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch spoke with Fedorov during the Avalanche series, imploring him to shoot more.
Fedorov led the playoffs in goals and helped the Red Wings win their second consecutive Stanley Cup that season.
On February 14, 1999, Fedorov announced that his entire base salary for the 1998–99 season, million, would be used to create the Sergei Fedorov Foundation, a charity to assist Detroit area children.
During the 1993–94 season, being interviewed before his game, Gretzky was talking about a December 17 game between the Red Wings and New York Rangers, saying, "he had never seen a player dominate the game the way Sergei did." Playing in his second game after coming back from an injury, Steve Yzerman was asked about Fedorov's play during the season: "I've only seen two other players that can dominate a game like Sergei, and that's Wayne and Mario. He's got the greatest leg strength I've seen in a player.
His legs are phenomenal." In the lockout-shortened 1994–95 season, Fedorov finished second on the Red Wings in points with 50 (20 goals and 30 assists) in 42 games.