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What Does Ruslan Fedotenko Bring To The Philadelphia Flyers?

Earlier in the off season, the Philadelphia Flyers were able to reach an agreement with free agent Ruslan Fedotenko to bring him back to the city of brotherly love where his NHL career began.

Fedotenko’s deal made perfect sense for the Flyers from a financial standpoint because GM Paul Holmgren was still trying to acquire Rick Nash and Shea Weber, both of whom would have eaten up a lot of cap space. Fedotenko was signed to a one-year deal worth $1.75 million. This season, according to CapGeek.com, Fedotenko will make the sixth highest amount of money among Flyers forwards.

After Fedotenko’s first two seasons in Philadelphia (2000-2002), he was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning for two draft picks, one of which was used to draft Joni Pitkanen. In his four seasons with the Lightning, Fedotenko played consistent, well-rounded hockey and helped them win the 2004 Stanley Cup, scoring  both goals in a 2-1 Game 7 victory against the Calgary Flames.

Fedotenko then went on to sign a one-year deal with the New York Islanders, where he totaled 33 points in 67 games. The season after that, Fedotenko signed another one-year deal. This time, he got a chance to play with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin for the Pittsburgh Penguins. In that season, Fedotenko matched his career high in points with 39 in just 65 games. He also scored 14 points in the playoffs, helping the Penguins capture the 2009 Stanley Cup.

Finally, after taking a pay cut to play with the Penguins, he signed with the New York Rangers. Fedotenko was reunited with his head coach in Tampa Bay, John Tortorella. He played two years in New York and scored a total of 45 points.

So what does the 33-year old Ukrainian winger bring to the Flyers?

Fedotenko brings championship pedigree to the table, just like Jaromir Jagr, Chris Pronger and Maxime Talbot in past seasons.

Does Fedotenko have the play-making ability like Jagr, Pronger and Talbot?

He might not be a flashy scorer or a nifty passer, but he really is a gritty player who fits this Flyers team perfectly. Playing him alongside Talbot and Zac Rinaldo on the fourth line could open up scoring chances for Talbot, who had a career year for the Flyers.

Signing a player who usually records 25 or more points to play on your fourth line is always a luxury. The Flyers have this luxury because their roster has a lot of depth. The decision to bring Fedotenko back to Philadelphia is a low-risk, high-reward type of move and one that could be very beneficial to a young Flyers team that is looking to capture its first Stanley Cup for the city since 1975.

David A. Cattai is the Featured Writer for the Philadelphia Flyers with Rant Sports & Featured Beat Writer covering the Philadelphia Phillies for Buzz On Broad.

Follow me on Twitter @DCattaiSports for all Flyers, Phillies, NHL, and MLB sports updates.