Ruslan Fedotenko is one of the great stories in the NHL. After going undrafted, the Flyers picked up him up and placed him on their minor-league roster. He would make the team in 2000 and would go on to have a successful twelve-year career, three of them with the Flyers.
Fedotenko wore no. 26 for most of his career but for a brief time, he wore no. 50 with the orange and black. Fedotenko is one of two players to ever don no. 50 for the Flyers.
He was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for their first-round pick in 2002. “Rusty” would spend the next four years in Tampa Bay, winning his first Stanley Cup in 2004.
Fedotenko would return to Philadelphia in 2012. He played 47 games during the lockout-shortened season and played a large role on the penalty killing team.
Fedotenko was more known for his defensive play than his offensive prowess. His scored a career-high 41 points during the 2005-06 season, but he could always be depended upon to play a decent shutdown role on the third or fourth line.
During Fedotenko’s three years with the Flyers, he played in 199 games, scoring 37 goals and 75 points.
There are few memories that stick out with Fedotenko because he was never a player who often showed up on the highlights. He was a blue-collar type of player the Philadelphia fans love. He came to the rink every day and did his job without much fanfare.
Fedotenko did have a habit of showing up and scoring goals when no one else expect him to. Flyers fans know this all too well because of 2004 but toward the end of the
2012 2013 season, Fedotenko ended one of the most thrilling games of the year.
The Flyers and Washington Capitals were tied 2-2 going into the final period. The Flyers gave up two quick goals and the Capitals seemed to be on their way to a victory.
A minute and a half into the overtime period, Fedotenko whipped a pass to Timonen on the opposite side of the ice. Fedotenko cut to the net where Timonen fired a pass to him. Fedotenko tapped the puck into the net and the Flyers won 5-4 in overtime.
Later generations of fans will never know the name Ruslan Fedotenko. He was not the most skilled player on the ice, but he played his role well.