When Ruslan Fedotenko decided to play overseas during the lockout, he was looking to be competitive while also trying to save his energy to play for the Philadelphia Flyers in 2012-2013.
Fedotenko has been quite the journeyman in his eleven years in the NHL. Fedotenko has played for Philadelphia along with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the New York Islanders, the New York Rangers, and the Pittsburgh Penguins in his career, all of which are in the Eastern Conference. Fedotenko has also been a Stanley Cup champion twice in his career since leaving the Flyers after the 2001-2002 season.
For his age 33 season, Fedotenko has decided to return to the team that gave him his first chance in the NHL. But the reunion was brief when news of the lockout had been confirmed. Because of this, players such as Fedotenko and fellow teammates Ilya Bryzgalov, Wayne Simmonds, and Jakub Voracek left the United States in order to stay in shape by playing in Europe.
Teams like the Flyers, that are deep at the forward position, should not be extremely worried that there players could be injured overseas, but they need to worry about how these European coaches are using their players. The Flyers should be worried about how much time Fedotenko is on the ice. So far in 3 games with Donbass Donetsk, Fedotenko has not recorded a single point but he has recorded plenty of ice time.
Fedotenko is averaging 20:22 minutes on the ice during his averaged 23.7 shifts. These numbers should be a red flag for coach Peter Laviolette as well as GM Paul Holmgren because Fedotenko is getting old in regards to NHL years. Last season with the Rangers, Fedotenko played on 20+ shifts only 24 times in the regular season. His workload increased in the postseason as well. In the playoffs, Fedotenko played 20+ shifts 14 out of the 20 games that the Rangers had.
But total shifts should not be the cause for concern with the Flyers. There was only one game out of the entire regular season and postseason that Fedotenko played more than 20 minutes in. This game was on May 2, 2012. The Rangers edged the Washington Capitals by a score of 2-1 but needed 3 overtimes to decide a victor. In that game Fedotenko recorded 30:28 minutes of ice time.
The Flyers as well as Ruslan Fedotenko should be worried about the amount of ice time he is seeing overseas. If these minutes continue at their 20:22 minute rate, then Fedotenko may be coming back to the NHL with very tired legs. Keep an eye out for Fedotenko in these next couple of months to see whether or not he is going to be healthy to start a shortened 2012-2013 NHL season.
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