In today’s edition of Slap Shots or the NY Post, Rangers beat writer Larry Brooks writes a few sentences pertaining to the Rangers working with veteran winger Ruslan Fedotenko on a new, 2-year deal with the club.
Fedontenko, who signed a one-year, $1 million dollar contract before the start of last season because of an excellent training camp, had a respectable first season, including a very solid postseason, with the Rangers and could be a key veteran piece on a youthful team going forward. However, the two sides seem to be far off in the amount of money for the contract, holding up the negotiations.
Follow me after to jump to find out my thoughts on Fedotenko and what it means to the Rangers’ roster.
Here’s an excerpt from Brooks’ article explaining in more detail about the difference in money, eagerness for the signing and its salary cap rammifications.
It seems foolish for GM Glen Sather to grind Fedotenko, one of coach John Tortorella‘s go-to guys (with whom the Blueshirts were 39-23-4 when he was in the lineup, but 5-10-1 when he was sidelined with injuries) over what amounts to comparative nickels and dimes.
And especially when the club is going to need to spend a significant amount of additional dollars to be in position to receive full dispensation by placing Chris Drury on LTI at the start of the season.
If I had to choose one veteran to bring back for the Rangers next season, it would be Fedotenko. Everything about him fits perfectly in to the Rangers’ style of play. “Feds” is one of Tortorella’s workhorses who understands how hockey should be played: the right way. He forechecks, takes the body, plays solidly in his own end, and, if he wasn’t battling some nagging injuries last season, could have chipped in more offensively. He does all the little things well; intangibles that don’t show up on the stat sheet yet helps your club win games.
With the Rangers still trying to incorporate more youth in to the lineup, the need for a cheap veteran presence is vital, leaving a veteran player like Vinny Prospal possibly on the outside looking in. Prospal turned out to be a great signing by Glen Sather 2 seasons ago but injuries and his age has caught up to him, robbing him of his offensive abilities slightly. And with the Rangers needing all the salary cap relief they can find, I don’t see a scenario where both Prospal and Fedotenko are on the Rangers next year.
I would expect to see a raise for Fedotenko; he’s certainly earned it. And, if the two sides are as close as Brooks portrays them to be, then there are only 3 words you can say to Glen Sather: pay the man!