Hard-working Ukrainian forward Ruslan Fedotenko was born in Kiev on Jan. 18 1979. Coming over to North America as a teenager to pursue his dream of playing in the NHL, Fedotenko was signed by the Flyers out of the USHL at age 20 worked his way up through the minor league system.
On Oct. 24, 2000. the injury-depleted Flyers had a road game in New York at Madison Square Garden. Fedotenko, a last-moment callup from the AHL's Philadelphia Phantoms, took a train from Philadelphia and arrived at the arena as the game was about to get underway.
Fedotenko was initially expected to be a short-term callup. Instead, he played so well that he became a regular in the Flyers' lineup. As a rookie in 2000-01, Fedotenko notched 16 goals and 36 points in a third-line role over 76 games.
In his second NHL season, Fedotenko scored 17 goals and 26 points. In the playoffs, he scored the only goal in a 1-0 overtime win in Game One of the Flyers' series against the Ottawa Senators. Philadelphia would only score two goals for the entire series and would bow out in five games.
The Flyers were happy with Fedotenko's development. However, the team was offered a deal it could not refuse when it had a chance to trade Fedotenko and its own first-round pick in the 2002 NHL Draft in order to acquire the fourth overall pick of the Draft. Philadelphia used the pick to select Finnish defenseman Joni Pitkanen.
Over the course of his lengthy NHL career, Fedotenko would become a thorn in the Flyers' sides. Most notably, he scored five goals against the Flyers in the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals, including one in the seventh and deciding game (won 2-1 by Tampa). Fedotenko went on to win Stanley Cups with both Tampa Bay in 2004 and the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009.
In the shortened 2012-13 season, Fedotenko returned to the Flyers on a one-year contract. Playing a fourth-line role. he chipped in 14 points (four goals, nine assists) in 47 games and was a plus-eight at even strength while being part of a penalty kill that ranked fifth in the NHL at 85.9 percent.
Fedotenko played 863 regular season games (173 goals, 193 assists, 366 points) and 108 playoff games (22 goals, 18 assists, 40 points) for his NHL career.