LOS ANGELES - Sergei Fedorov figured it was time for a change. So he's heading to California.
Fedorov signed a five-year, $40-million contract with Anaheim on Saturday, leaving Detroit after 13 seasons to reunite with general manager Bryan Murray, his first NHL coach.
The free-agent center helped the Red Wings win three Stanley Cups, but two weeks ago his agent, Pat Brisson, said Fedorov wouldn't return to Detroit next season.
"I do not have any bitterness leaving Detroit. I enjoyed my years in Detroit," Fedorov said by telephone from Moscow. "I'm going to miss the fans. They were great to me. It's been a wonderful ride, but everybody in life at some point has to change direction or place or time, and this is absolutely normal for me to change and move on."
The deal has two years guaranteed, and the final three are at Fedorov's option, Mighty Ducks spokesman Alex Gilchrist said.
For Anaheim, Fedorov makes up for the loss of star left wing Paul Kariya, who left to sign as a free agent with Colorado.
Kariya's departure freed up money for the Ducks to sign free agents, including former Tampa Bay forward Vinny Prospal, who led the Lightning last season with 79 points.
The Red Wings offered Fedorov the same amount of money as the Ducks, but over four years. The looming expiration of the league's collective bargaining agreement in September 2004 affected Fedorov.
"I got into free agency at a bad time with CBA expiring," Fedorov said. "It was a very big struggle with Detroit."
The six-time All-Star had 36 goals and 47 assists for a team-leading 83 points last season. Fedorov won the Hart Trophy as league MVP in 1994 and twice was named the league's best defensive forward.
"He's one of the best defensive players in hockey," Murray said. "He loves to make plays, but defensively he does the job as well as anyone."
Fedorov, 33, has 400 goals and 554 assists with the Red Wings, where he helped the team win the Stanley Cup in 1997, '98 and 2002.
WORRELL TRADED: Florida traded enforcer Peter Worrell to Colorado for Vaclav Nedorost and Eric Messier. Colorado also gets a second-round pick in the 2004 draft.
Worrell, a 6-foot-6, 225-pound left wing, has 1,375 career penalty minutes, second in Panthers history. He had two goals and three assists last season.
Messier, who can play left wing or defenseman, had four goals and 10 assists; Nedorost, a center, had four goals and five assists.