Watching the Philadelphia Flyers last season, forward Ruslan Fedotenko believed that they needed more defensive players and he hoped to help fill that void when he inked a one-year, $1,750,000 contract.
He had winning the Stanley Cup for a third time on his mind going into this season, so you can imagine how he feels as Flyers sit in 12th place in the Eastern Conference going into their season finale against the Ottawa Senators tonight.
“I never thought we would not be in the playoffs,” Fedotenko told CSN Philly. “And I feel like I don’t know. I feel a lot of people feel the same way. No one thought we would be out and not fighting for playoffs.
“Whatever word you can use, I feel it is pretty shocking looking back. It’s not the season anyone expected.”
Of the moves that the Philadelphia Flyers have made over the last couple of years, the addition of Fedotenko is particularly easy to like. He wasn’t exactly a splashy signing, but he leads the team with a plus-eight rating, has played physically without spending too much time in the sin bin, and chipped in a bit offensively.
Fedotenko is used to being on teams that compete. He won the Stanley Cup in 2004 with the Tampa Bay Lightning and again in 2009 with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“For me, this is kind of like new territory,” Fedotenko said. “In my 13-year career, the only time I ever missed the playoffs was with the Islanders. I had an MCL knee injury.
“When I played, I knew I was competing for the playoffs. Playing for pride to make the playoffs and knowing you are going to be there. This, it’s a first for me. It’s very disappointing.”
Fedotenko cited a lack of consistency when talking about the Flyers’ downfall this season. He’s scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.