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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Fedorov Accepts Detroit's New Deal

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings have matched Carolina's offer to Sergei Fedorov after an arbitrator sided with the Hurricanes in their dispute with the NHL on the validity of the $38 million, six-year deal.

The Russian player, who helped the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup last year but hasn't played a game for them all season, said in a statement Thursday he will take the offer and play for Detroit.

"While I am returning to the Red Wings with a desire to win another Stanley Cup, I want to add that I have the utmost appreciation and respect for the Carolina Hurricanes," Fedorov said. "Their desire to bring me to their team will never be forgotten. I wish them every success in the future."

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said, "I fully expect to see Sergei with our hockey team soon."

Arbitrator John Sands ruled Thursday that Carolina's offer sheet did not violate the league's collective bargaining agreement. The National Hockey League had challenged the deal because it offered Fedorov a $12 million bonus if his team reaches the conference finals this year.

In addition to a $2 million salary, the deal also would give Fedorov a $14 million signing bonus.

Sands' ruling meant that Detroit could match the offer, work out a trade or take five first-round draft picks. The Red Wings matched it less than an hour after the decision, meaning that Fedorov could pocket $28 million in bonuses for half a season of play.

Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford was disappointed he could not secure Fedorov, a star who would have raised interest and attendance for the team, formerly the Hartford Whalers.

"When you get this close to getting that kind of player, to know what he can do for your team, and then not get him, you feel a little emptiness," Rutherford said. "I hope it works out well for Detroit and wish Sergei good luck. It's good that he's back. Unfortunately, it's not with us."

He did keep his sense of humor, adding, "We can call the bank and tell them we don't need the money."

The Hurricanes went after him to bring one of the NHL's leading attractions to their new home, where they have averaged fewer than 9,000 fans this season. The Hurricanes moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, from Hartford, Connecticut, in the off-season.

They are in last place in the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference.