The Russian Five
Sports and politics clash in this compelling documentary about five Russian hockey stars who defected to America to join the Detroit Red Wings in the 1980s, leading to the team’s back-to-back Stanley Cup championships.
The team’s fans and rivals alike nicknamed the team “the Dead Wings” after enduring fifteen seasons of futility. However, newly hired general manager, Jim Devellano came up with an audacious plan to infuse new talent into the club, turning his attention toward the Russian Red Army team, one of the most dominant collections of hockey talent ever assembled. The team’s hockey players were members of the military and icons of the regime’s sports supremacy, closely watched for fear they might defect to the high paying NHL. Through a number of covert encounters reminiscent of an espionage film, Devellano and his talent scouts enticed first Sergei Fedorov, Vladimir Konstantinov, and Viacheslav Fetisov, and later Vyacheslav Kozlov and Igor Larionov, to defect to America and join the Red Wings organization. The Russian Five was born.