If you had the job of trying to construct the perfect role player, you’d probably build someone that looked oddly familiar to this man, Ruslan Fedotenko. Feds was a great pickup for the Rangers. He came into camp this off-season on a tryout without a contract guaranteed and he was able to win himself a spot in the top 12 and $1 million to go with it. With his play throughout the beginning of the season came a trust from the coach, and that trust eventually came to the fans. With the ability to play in all situations and on both wings, Fedotenko is a key cog to any team looking to build a contender. A great role player and a good veteran guy to have, I give you, Ruslan Fedotenko.
Weight: 200 lbs
NHL Experience: Currently in his 10th NHL season
Contract: $1,000,000; UFA at years end
Before the NHL:
Before making his way over to North America, the Kiev Ukraine native Fedotenko would jump around in European leagues as a teenager hoping to catch the eyes of scouts over seas. Fedotenko would spend 1 season within the KHL system before making the switch to playing 2 seasons in the Finnish league.
After having very limited success overseas, Fedotenko took his talents to North America to try and get noticed.
Fedotenko jumped into the USHL as a 19 year old and immediately found success. With the Sioux City Musketeers, Fedotenko would record 43 goals and 34 assists in just 55 contests. It was after this season that Fedotenko would be signed by the Philadelphia Flyers and was immediately put into their system.
Fedotenko was given his time in the ECHL and AHL but proved instantly that he did not belong at such a low level. In 8 games in the ECHL with the Trenton Devils, Feds recorded 5 goals and 3 assists. Child’s play. He was called up to the Philadelphia Phantoms where in 61 games he recorded 51 points and he would finish the 1999-2000 season there. At the beginning of the 00-01 season Fedotenko would start in the AHL and would play 8 games with the Phantoms before being recalled to the Flyers, Fedotenko would never return to the AHL
With the limited success of the Ukraine international program, Fedotenko has only represented the Ukraine in two international contests, the World Junior Championship B league, and Feds would appear in one Olympic Game for the Ukraine where he scored a goal and added 4 penalty minutes.
I love doing posts on these NHL journeymen as their NHL stories are always so interesting…
Fedotenko would garner instant success in his role with the Flyers after being called up from the Phantoms. Feds would record 36 points in 74 games as a rookie while helping the Flyers get to the Stanley Cup playoffs that season. Those 36 points were good for 7th on the Flyers that season. However in the 01-02 season Fedotenko’s production decreased and the Flyers lost their patience and sent him packing to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
With Tampa Bay and under coach John Tortorella Fedotenko may have received his most success there. Feds would spend 4 full seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning organization, his claim to fame? The 03-04 season where he was a playoff monster for Torts. In 22 playoff contests Fedotenko scored 12 goals, not to be forgotten was his Stanley Cup clinching goal as he scored both goals in game 7 against the Flames to lead the Lightning to a 2-1 win and their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. In his 4 seasons with the Lightning Fedotenko played in 313 regular season games and recorded 144 points.
After the 06-07 season Fedotenko and the Lightning would part ways and he would be signed as a free agent by the New York Islanders. Feds would spend a year with the Islanders before being signed by the Penguins.
Fedotenko would spend two years with the Penguins, and oh yeah, only win himself a second Stanley Cup. In the 08-09 season when the Penguins won the cup, his first of the two years with the organization, Fedotenko would play in all 24 playoff games and record 14 points split at 7 between goals and assists.
In the 2010 off-season, Fedotenko and Tortorella would be reunited and Feds would be able to call New York home once again, this time with the Rangers, his fifth NHL franchise.
Outlook 2010-2011 and Beyond:
With his time in the organization, as mentioned in the introduction, Fedotenko has proved himself to be an important part of the team. This goes past Fedotenko’s numbers which currently stand at 9 goals and 11 assists through 52 appearances, but stems deep down to the fact that he’s a vet with two cups and plenty of playoff experience on a young and up and coming Rangers team. Not to be outdone by the fact that the Rangers have won 30 of the games that Fedotenko has played in, which can be turned around and said that in the 16 games that Fedotenko has missed this season, the Rangers have only won 5 games.
He’s proven himself and become a better player for this team than I thought he would be and become an important part to the Rangers efforts this season to getting them to the playoffs.
Not to mention WHEN the Rangers make the playoffs, his experience not just in the playoffs but with Tortorella in the playoffs as well is going to produce great results for this team.
He has found a nice home on the left wing with Boyle and Prust as they continue to establish themselves as the perfect fourth line for this team that can contribute even in a third line role.
However the future on Broadway for Fedotenko is not that bright. Unless of course he provides an amazing effort in carrying the Rangers to and eventually in the playoffs, an effort so great that Sather can’t help but re-sign the guy.
The fact of the matter is the Rangers have a plethora of young talent knocking at the door to get into the NHL. Guys like Dale Weise grinding away at the AHL level or even a future college grad Carl Hagelin over at Michigan. If I had to predict it right now? I’d say Hagelin makes the team out of training camp in a 3rd or 4th line role making Fedotenko expendable. Making it easy for the Rangers to cut ties with Ruslan and he can continue his NHL journey elsewhere. And although the future looks bleak for Fedotenko on Broadway, the present is bright.
About the Author
Written by Adam Gavriel