Making The Russian Five

October 07, 2019

WeLiveHockey Experience

If you are a Detroit Red Wings fan, then this edition of the We Live Hockey Podcast is a must listen. Heck, I'm not even a Red Wings fan and I enjoyed the heck out of this particular podcast.

In this very special and unique podcast, Lee and Travis interview Joshua Riehl and Jenny Feterovich, the producers of The Russian Five. Wings' fans, you know who these guys are as they all made a significant impact to your team.

For those that may be too young to remember who these guys were, they were Vladimir Konstantinov, Sergei Fedorov, Slava Fetisov, Igor Larionov, and Slava Kozlov. If you ask me, these five ov's were dominant for the Wings for several seasons.

In listening to the podcast, you will learn the following just like I did:

Both Lee and Travis are Flyer fans. Unfortunately for them, the Russian Five and the rest of their Wings' teammates swept their club in the 1997 Cup Final in route to their first Cup in 42 years. Sorry guys!

While Lee is a Flyer fan, he does tell us how he came to appreciate the Russian Five. Lee mentions that they did a lot for the game, especially in terms of how they showed the rest of the league that players from other countries could work together with the rest of their teammates to accomplish the ultimate goal.

For me at least, this is a very interesting point because it really set the tone for clubs bringing in more Russians and other Europeans to their respective hockey clubs and helping to make the sport more inclusive.

As the podcast began, we learned that Jenny came from the Soviet Union and like the Russian Five, ended up coming over to North America for a better life.

Speaking of having a better life, Jenny and Joshua spoke about how rigid the Russian Five's lives were over in Russia. Could you imagine life being so bad in your country that you feel the need to get out and do so under the radar? I can't!

Joshua told us how his love for the Red Wings and the way their Russians played drew him to the game and make him turn away from baseball. You made the right choice, Joshua. Thank you, Russians!

If you're a Wings' fan or even a die hard hockey fan, than you probably remember the horrific limo accident that Konstantinov, team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov, and driver Richard Gnida got into just a few nights after the team won the Cup. It made Joshua realize just how fragile life was and that despite everything that happened on that awful night, these guys persevered in the biggest way.  

As someone who is not a Red Wings fan, I did not know how much Wings' fans loved Konstantiov. Joshua mentioned that while fans loved their captain in Stevie Yzerman as well as the "perfect person" Nicklas Lidstrom, they really, really loved what Konstantinov brought to the table every night.

It was interesting to hear how much Joshua and Jenny risked to do this. It cost a lot of money to make, it was hard to conduct the interviews because of heavy government interference in Moscow, but you'll have to listen to hear more about this (Hint: 23:43 into the podcast)

In listening to this podcast, I really appreciated just how much effort and passion Joshua and Jennifer put in to get this documentary done. These two  believed in the story and wanted to convey to everyone, not just hockey fans, how important the Russian Five were to both the hockey world and sports world in general.

There's a lot more to unwrap in this podcast so make sure to take a listen and check out other episodes of the WeLive.Hockey podcast.