NBC Sports Network is set to premiere The Russian Five, a feature documentary about the first five Russians to play hockey together in the NHL. The film will air on November 6, following NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Hockey game between the Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers.
“The Russian Five” tells the fascinating tale of the rebuilding of the once-great Detroit Red Wings hockey club during the late 80’s and early 90’s, which included utilizing draft picks to select Russian players. Drafting them was one thing. Getting them to leave mother Russia during the Cold War era was another. (Our review is here.)
The Russian Five tells the story of how Sergei Fedorov, Slava Fetisov, Vladimir Konstatinov, Slava Kozlov and Igor Larionov defected and then helped transform the Red Wings from perennial losers to back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions. Toward the end of the Cold War in the late ’80s, the Red Wings hatched an audacious plan to draft the best Soviet players from behind the Iron Curtain and help them defect to Detroit.