Topic: Vladimir Konstantinov

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Vladimir Konstantinov (Russian: Владимир Константинов; born March 19, 1967, in Murmansk, USSR) is a former professional hockey player who played his entire NHL career with the Detroit Red Wings. Previously, he had played for Soviet club HC CSKA Moscow. His career was ended in a limousine accident just six days after the Red Wings 1997 Stanley Cup victory.

Vladimir Konstantinov, "Vladdie," was drafted 221st overall in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft by the Detroit Red Wings, after impressing a Red Wings scout at the 1987 World Junior Championships, where a brawl broke out in the Russia/Canada game. Scout Neil Smith remembers, "He was the only one of the Russians who fought back." Probably the most notable aspect of his hockey career was his aggressive style, specializing in getting opponents off their game. "For my game," he explained, "I don’t need to score the goal. I need someone to start thinking about me and forgetting about scoring goals." Konstantinov's aggressive style of play also earned him the nickname "The Vladinator," a take on Arnold Schwarzenegger's character "The Terminator."

Konstantinov was more than a pest, as some had taken to calling him; he was a skilled player. He earned the NHL Plus/Minus Award in 1995–96, with a plus/minus difference of plus-60. The +60 has been the highest rating a player has finished with in the past 20 seasons, since Wayne Gretzky finished with a +70 in the 1986–87 NHL season. In 1996–97, his final season, Konstantinov was runner-up (to Brian Leetch) for the Norris Trophy, given to the league's best defenceman. However, Konstantinov's career is not remembered so much outside Detroit for what happened on the ice as for how it ended.

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It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Vladimir Konstantinov."