Embed from Getty Images Former Detroit Red Wings star, Vladimir Konstantinov was seriously injured in a limousine accident 22 years ago. When the Limo driver was driving drunk and slammed into a tree. 22 years later Konstantinov needs round the clock care.
Vladimir Konstantinov, was not expected to make it through the night. As part of what would be the beginning of 4 Stanley Cup Championships for the Detroit Red Wings, Konstantinov was part of Detroit’s legendary “Russian Five.”
Sergei Fedorov, Igor Larionov, Vyacheslav Kozio, Slava Kozlov and Konstantinov, arrived in Detroit and changed the sport of hockey forever. They could hit, they were unbelievable fast. They were a sight to see on the ice. For those of us fortunate enough to see them.
Shortly after the team won the 1996-97 Stanley Cup the team gathered at Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch’s house for a dinner. Tired and wanting to sleep Konstantinov and a few other left. Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman would receive the phone call 15 minutes later.
A local Michigan man Josh Riehl, and die-hard Detroit Red Wings fan made a documentary “The Russian Five.” It is playing in Michigan movie theaters and is a great film.
Suffering brain damage as well as a broken neck in the accident, Vladimir is said to attack his physical therapy the same way he hit opposing players. “The Vladinator” that is what Red Wings fans called him.
His care totals around $50,000 per year. Wearing #16 during his playing time, while it does not hang from the rafters, No Detroit Red Wing has worn the number since Konstantinov. Players have said they do not ask because they understand it is off limits.
“The Russian Five” is being show and all ticket proceeds are going to care for Vladimir. That is a very nice gesture on behalf of Josh Riehl.