Audience Award Winner Traverse City Film Festival!
When Jim Devellano was hired as the new general manager of the struggling Detroit “Dead” Wings in 1982, his mission appeared impossible: restore the flailing franchise to its former glory by winning a Stanley Cup. He devised a radical, dangerous plan—draft superstars from the USSR’s Red Army team, then extract them from behind the iron curtain. Through covert dealings straight out of a spy novel, Devellano and his scouts persuade three celebrated Soviets—Federov, Konstantinov, and Koslov—to defect to Detroit. Years later they add veteran legends Fetisov and Larionov to form the NHL’s first all-Russian line, culminating in back-to-back Stanley Cup victories for the city of Detroit. More than mere nostalgic reminiscing, The Russian Five demonstrates the power of sports to change culture and politics by smashing stereotypes and forging bonds across borders.