Vladimir Konstantinov Plays Hockey For First Time in Over 20 Years

Graham Montgomery
March 26, 2024  (4:58 PM)

Former Red Wings star Vladimir Konstantinov with former teammate Henrik Zetterberg
Photo credit: Vintage Detroit

Former Detroit Red Wings defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov returned to the ice for the first time in early 30 years yesterday. It was a special moment for the former star who's career was tragically cut short.

Red Wings legend plays hockey again

Konstantinov was always a long-shot to make the NHL. He was drafted in the 11th round, 221st overall by the Red Wings in 1989. However, he would go on to beat the odds, as he became a staple on the team's blueline starting in the 1991-92 season. He would go on to play 446 career NHL games, all with the Detroit Red Wings. He netted 47 goals and 175 points in those games. However, his career was tragically cut short after he was involved in a Serious limousine accident that seriously injured himself along with some of his Red Wings teammates. The accident left Konstantinov paralyzed from the waist down, ending his career in hockey.
However, the Red Wings legend was able to return to the ice yesterday as he participated in a sled hockey event with Belle Tire's sled hockey team.
Vladimir Konstantinov back on the ice: what a beautiful avenue sled hockey gives players!

The Red Wings legend shared the ice with Belle Tire's sled hockey team in Kim Muir's Can't Skate, Can't Play, for Special Needs.
Shockingly, this is just the first time Konstantinov has played sled hockey, making it the first time he's gotten to participate in the sport since the accident. This is just the kind of feel good story the Red Wings needed right now. After all, the team has fallen on hard times this season. Recently, tensions have reached a breaking point during a losing streak that could cost them a playoff spot. Lucas Raymond and Ben Chiarot infamously had to be separated from each other at a recent Red Wings practice.
Ben Chiarot and Lucas Raymond had to be separated during Wings practice.

Detroit has lost 6 in a row and has fallen out of the top-8 in the East
The Red Wings remain in the playoff race however. Hopefully they will be able to rebound and make the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade.