Konstantinov to enter Michigan Sports Hall of Fame
Vladimir Konstantinov’s blossoming Red Wings career was cut short by an infamous limousine accident less than a week after he helped Detroit win the Stanley Cup for the first time in 42 years.
Vladimir Konstantinov has been elected to the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, it was announced on Tuesday.
Konstantinov’s blossoming career as a Red Wings defenseman was cut short on June 13, 1997, less than a week after he helped Detroit win the Stanley Cup for the first time in 42 years. He suffered permanent catastrophic injuries in the infamous limousine accident in which teammate Slava Fetisov and team masseuse Sergei Mnatsakanov were also injured.
Joining Konstantinov in the Michigan Sports HOF Class of 2019 are former Michigan defensive back and Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson, former Detroit Piston Grant Hill, former Michigan State basketball star and Flint native Morris Peterson, Olympic swimmer and Canton native Allison Schmidt, Farmington Hills Mercy and U-M basketball legend Diane Dietz, recently retired longtime Clarkston basketball coach Dan Fife, former Detroit News Lions writer Mike O’Hara, former Associated Press sports editor Harry Atkins and Tom Wilson, a longtime Pistons executive who is now CEO of Olympia Entertainment.
Konstantinov was 30 and had played only six seasons with the Red Wings at the time of the accident. But he had become among the most popular players in team history because of his aggressive, abrasive and effective style of play.
He was one of the “Russian Five” along with Fetisov, fellow Michigan Hall of Fame member Sergei Fedorov, Igor Larionov and Slava Kozlov.
Konstantinov’s name is also on the Stanley Cup for 1998, when Detroit won it for the second consecutive season. After the Red Wings had completed the sweep of the Washington Capitals in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final that year, Konstantinov – who has been wheelchair bound since the accident – was pushed around the ice of the MCI Center by his former teammates with the Cup in his lap.
The class will be inducted on Oct. 5 at the Sound Board at Motor City Casino.
The class was voted in by current and former journalists, former sports executives and more than 5,000 online votes.