Besides making the highly-anticipated signing of Mike Rupp, the New York Rangers also re-signed one of coach John Tortorella's "guys" in Ruslan Fedotenko.
Last season, Fedotenko entered training camp on a tryout basis, quickly impressed Tortorella and the coaching staff to earn a spot on the team, and slowly began to morph into a guy in which all the young players could look up to -- and one who knew Tortorella's system back when he was in Tampa Bay. Even though he only had 10 goals and 15 assists in 66 games this season, he was rewarded with a one-year, $1.4 million deal (he earned $1 million last season) for the the part of play that doesn't really end up in the stat books. The 32-year-old also played extremely well down the stretch, especially when Ryan Callahan went down. His hard work along the boards, shot-blocking and generally a "stiff" player to match-up against were aspects of his game that were never lacking. Most of all, he was a player Tortorella could trust. Bergen Record's Andrew Gross said that the Rangers were 39-23-4 in games that Fedotenko was in the lineup for. That says enough.
The coach even hinted at bringing "Feds" back Thursday at the prospects camp:
"You go down the list, but we know what Feds did and if it isn’t good on that list, maybe Feds is the guy," Tortorella said. "That’s where you have to be careful, always looking to try to get someone else, where we already know what these guys are and they know who we are."
While the Rupp signing wasn't good news for the guys on the fringe of making the roster, bringing back Fedotenko likely means that another move or two with the bevy of forwards will occur before the start of the season -- and could happen in the near future.