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|20 ноября 2002
Fedotenko charged up to be with Lightning - Philadelphia Daily News
By EDWARD MORAN
TAMPA - Good trades always have a cost.
And the Flyers trading Ruslan Fedotenko to Tampa Bay in June for the fourth overall pick in the NHL entry draft was the kind of price a team can pay. Fedotenko, though a third-liner for the Flyers last year, is a young and still-developing player.
The Flyers drafted 19-year-old Finnish defenseman Joni Pitkanen with the pick and Pitkanen is projected to be a star someday. So the long-term gain, for the Flyers, was worth it.
For Tampa Bay, the gain was immediate.
Fedotenko is flourishing with the hot Lightning and because the majority of the team is young, he is playing big minutes and getting opportunities on the power play. He has five goals and five assists this season, and three of the goals have been game-winners.
For Fedotenko, 23, it's a good situation.
"I was surprised I was traded," Fedotenko said yesterday. "But it's part of the game. You don't know when you're going to get traded or where. It was a little surprising for me, but I move along.
"I think here I will have more opportunity to play, more ice time. In Philly, it's a really deep team and they have a lot of talent, so I think in this case, probably I will have more opportunity here."
Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said he does not know Fedotenko as a player but agreed that, to get Pitkanen, it was the right trade. "I know how good a player Pitkanen is; I don't know Fedotenko because I only coached against him once," Hitchcock said.
"To me, any time that you have a franchise that can get an elite player, you have to pay that price. Anybody does that. So we made those necessary changes."
Hitchcock said that once Radovan Somik is healthy enough to play without reinjuring the groin pull that has kept him out for most of the season, the hole left without Fedotenko will be filled.
"To us Somik is Fedotenko. They're both real good players," Hitchcock said.
Tampa Bay is off to one of the best starts in the league and if it continues to play that way, Hitchcock could see Fedotenko in the playoffs.
"I think we have a good team," Fedotenko said. "We have a good goalie and as long as we're playing the same and we're playing hard and we do what we have to do, we can challenge any good team in the league.
"I like it here, it's just a little bit different. And it has nice weather."