Vyacheslav Kozlov spent just part of one season with the Buffalo Sabres, and maybe his time in Buffalo isn’t what he’s most well known for; but he certainly had a storied NHL career, continuing now overseas in the KHL.
VYACHESLAV (SLAVA) KOZLOV
Left Wing, b. 1972
Traded to the Sabres (June 30, 2001)
Kozlov, a native of Voskresensk, Russia, began his NHL career with the Detroit Red Wings when the team drafted him 45th overall in 1990. Over the years, he’d spend most of his time with the Red Wings, but also played with their AHL affiliate in Adirondack (also dubbed the Red Wings).
In time, he would become part of Detroit’s glory days, winning consecutive Stanley Cups in 1997 and 1998. Slava was part of the Red Wings’ “Russian Five,” consisting of him, Sergei Fedorov, Igor Larionov, Vladimir Konstantinov and Viacheslav Fetisov.
After ten years with the Red Wings organization, Kozlov faced the first trade of his NHL career. He was shipped to the Sabres, along with a 2002 1st round pick and a 2003 conditional pick, in exchange for goaltender Dominik Hasek. The trade occurred on June 30, 2001.
Kozlov played 38 games for the Sabres the next season, racking up nine goals and 13 assists in that stretch. Almost a year after his trade to Buffalo, he was on the move again. This time, it was off to Atlanta, in exchange for a pair of draft picks (they’d end up being Jeff Deslauriers and John Adams).
He went on to play seven seasons with Atlanta, excluding the lockout year 2004-2005 which saw him play for Voskresensk Khimik and Kazan Ak-Bars in Russia.
After the 2009-10 season, Kozlov began playing in the KHL, which is where he is now. He began with CSKA Moscow, then Ufa Salavat Yulayev and Moscow Dynamo. He’s been playing with Moscow Spartak since 2012. This season, at the age of 41, he had eight goals and 18 assists in 54 regular season games with Spartak.