The New York Rangers re-signed one of their unrestricted free agents yesterday, in bringing back winger Ruslan Fedotenko. I was of the opinion that they were going to bring back only one of the pair of him and Vinny Prospal, so now that he is signed, I think that Prospal is done in New York. If that is the case, so long and thank you very much, because he did the job he was supposed to do. While Fedotenko is not going to blow anybody away, he is very good at what he does, which is blocking shots, checking, and scoring the occasional goal. He finished the season with 10 goals and 15 assists for 25 points, and was rewarded with a one year extension at $1.4 million. He is a great role player to have on the bottom six, and is someone who could jump up on the top line for a few games if need be.
As 32 years old, there is still some gas left in the tank for him, unlike Prospal, unfortunately. These two guys played under John Tortorella in Tampa Bay, which was the reason they were brought in. But now, there really is no place in the future for Vinny, and I do believe the Rangers will not make an effort to bring him back. Fedotenko is the epitome of a Tortorella player, and the Rangers missed his presence in the 16 games he was out with injury last season.
We are now in the morning of Day Two of the NHL’s Free Agent Frenzy, with big names such as Brad Richards and Simon Gagne still out there for the taking. I really hope that Richards, wherever he signs, will do so today, so this does not drag out like Kovalchuk’s saga did last summer.