Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fedotenko re-signs for 1 yr deal....Pens still searching for defenseman

It was once sung that breaking up is hard to do, breaking your hand on Colby Armstrong's nose (above) is even harder to do. But Ruslan Fedotenko's signing on Friday showed that he is ready to take on any challenge for another chance to win a cup. Feds signed to a 1-yr deal for $1.8 mil. He made $2.5 mil last year. Word is that Feds didn't have any great offers. The Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers were said to have considerable interest, but that's questionable when you consider what contract Feds ended up re-signing for. If there was an offer from those teams, the contract undoubtledy would've been in the $2 mil- 3 mil range, possibly more. Regardless, Feds decided to come back on a 1 year deal for significantly less money. This shows the character and class this young man has.

Feds's regular season was up and down at the very least. 16 goals was a little under his usual amount of 20-25. But in the big games in the playoffs, Feds had those goals that got the Pens back in the games. Flashback to game 6 vs. Philly in Rd. 1: the next shift after Talbot get's beat up by Dan Carcillo, Geno drives to the net and it's Feds who ends up poking a lose puck through Biron. Flashback one more time to game 5 in Washington (Rd. 2) with the series tied at 2-2, the Pens were down 2-1 heading into the 3rd and Feds rifled a wrist shot from a soft pass from Geno just a few minutes into the period. The score was now 2-2 and the game changed dramatically after that.

Besides a couple huge goals in games which the Pens ended up winning, Feds was a constant threat on the ice every shift he got on. The best shift he had in the playoffs was one on which the Pens didn't score, the last minute and a half of game 7 in Detroit, Feds was cruising around with the puck looking like Jagr on drugs. As girley as he may look sometimes, as pissed off you may get because of his rosey red cheeks, Fedotenko is a playoff player. He shows up for the big games and the crucial moments when the team needs him the most. A la Max Talbot.

With their 2nd line winger signed, the Pens last hole to fill is that on defense. A guy I've loved ever since his Boston Bruin days has been Nick Boynton. Boynton plays an in your face game, loves stepping up for his teammates if he sees any hits he doesn't like, etc. I also like that he's right handed. Tanger is the only other righty on the current 5 man D unit (excluding Lovejoy). I have no idea why Dennis Seidenberg hasn't been signed yet. He had a career year last year in notching 30 pts (5 g 25 a) for Carolina. But I noticed his play from a defensive side, especially in the Pens series I thought he did a good job against the Geno unit. Remember Geno's hat trick goal in game 2? Yeah the one with the impossible backhand which went roof daddy on Cam Ward, well Seidenberg was the one defending Geno and it wasn't bad defense. Seidenberg likes to hit and he was 16th in the league in blocked shots. I know 16th isn't that amazing of a number but Rob Scuderi was only a couple spots ahead of him and it seems like Scuderi blocks shots non stop.

At the right price I believe Seidenberg would be a nice fit with the Pens. He's only 27 and I find it cool that he was a junior tennis champion in Germany at 16. But I think Shero is after a veteran type guy, aka Boynton, Mckee, Skoula, or maybe Beauchemin. The last one there might be too pricey, but you never know. What's wrong with bringing Philippe Boucher back? I thought he played great in the playoffs and had a decent regular season. He also developed a close relationship with Kris Letang. I'm not pro-gay marriage but I'm just saying some mentoring is nice to see. For some reason there seems to be a lot of depth on the fourth line. And Shero even added in the presser yesterday that he thinks one of Bissonette/Jeffrey/Wallace has a legit shot at making the team. How? We have Godard (ok he might be a healthy scratch some games), Dupuis (a $1.4mil healthy scratch?), Adams (ok maybe), and Rupp (doubt he's getting out). I definetely see the Pens trading Dupuis sometime soon, maybe in hopes of acquiring a defenseman. Can you say Ruslan Salei? He's a fun, underrated guy to watch. Always hits hard and makes his presence felt. Dupuis and a pick/prospect should get that done as Colorado is trying to shed some salary.

Congrats to Master Shero on a wonderful job so far. Guerin to $2mil, Rupp to $825k, and now Feds to $1.8mil. Keep it going and lets see a nice defensemen signing.

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