Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rumor: Rangers Working On Two-Year Deal For Fedotenko Return?

According to Larry Brook at the New York Post, the New York Rangers are working on a two year contract for veteran Ruslan Fedotenko.  Fedotenko came to the Rangers this past offseason on a training camp tryout  After doing enough in camp to make the club he was give a one-year, $1 million deal.  His impact on the stat sheet might not seem like much as he only compiled 10 goals and 15 assists, but his impact on the ice was significantly greater as I chronicled in comparing the idea of bringing him back versus Vinny Prospal returning. 
The Rangers are in talks with winger Ruslan Fedotenko about a two-year deal aimed at preventing the impending unrestricted free agent from hitting the market on July 1, but a gap remains regarding the dollar figures, Slap Shots has learned.
Fedotenko is an excellent fit for the system John Tortorella wants to play with this club and is trusted completely by the coach.  He was one of the best players on the forecheck, is a physical if not intimidating presence and fearless in throwing his body at opposition shots.

In addition to the trust and intangibles he brings on the ice he would also bring the Rangers veteran presence that, as of now, they have very little of heading into next season.  The youth movement is alive, with some of younger core players getting older, but inexpensive veterans like Fedotenko are very important to teams.

It is reasonable to expect that Fedotenko would receive a raise from last season’s salary, though it should not raise in a significant way.   There is no way to know what or how large the gap references in the negotiations is, but if Fedotenko gets more than $1.75 million he is probably overpaid.  The bigger concern might be the idea of giving him a two year.  At this stage of his career Fedotenko, while a good veteran presence is a third line player, and the Rangers have a number of those in the system who could come up and fill the role in shot order.  Bringing Fedotenko back for one season is an excellent idea, but automatically committing for the second season seems unnecessary.