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By Jim Cerny, newyorkrangers.com
Two-time Stanley Cup winner Ruslan Fedotenko
was on the ice at Tuesday’s informal group workout at the Madison Square Garden Training Center, preparing for his training-camp tryout with the Rangers, which begins on Friday.
Several teams had shown interest in inviting the 31-year-old free agent to camp, but Fedotenko decided to pursue an opportunity with the Blueshirts.
“Free agency, there is not that much going on right now, but I got an invitation to attend training camp with the Rangers and I think it’s a great opportunity,” said Fedotenko. “Bottom line is if I deserve to be on this club I will be here. If not, it will make their decision easier. It’s up to me to prove what I can bring.”
|NHL veteran Ruslan Fedotenko, who played often at Madison Square Garden during his years with Pittsburgh, has taken up the Rangers' offer of attending their NHL training camp on a tryout basis. |
Fedotenko played major roles in helping the Tampa Bay Lightning (in 2004) and Pittsburgh Penguins (in 2009) win Stanley Cup championships. With Tampa Bay he scored 12 goals and recorded 14 points in 22 post-season games to earn his first ring. Five years later, he also picked up 14 points (seven goals and seven assists) in 24 playoff games as a member of the Penguins.
Rangers head coach John Tortorella is very well acquainted with Fedotenko and his postseason success, having coached him for four years in Tampa Bay, including the Cup season of 2003-04. Fedotenko has spoken already with Tortorella about the opportunity to attend camp with the Rangers and knows that, no matter their past history together, Tortorella will only keep Fedotenko on the roster if he is one of the 12 or 13 best forwards.
“We had a good time winning the Cup, but playing for him I know what type of man and what kind of coach he is, I know what to expect,” Fedotenko said of Tortorella. “I think if you are playing well, you will play. That’s what I learned from him before. If you’re not playing well, you’re not going to play. It doesn’t matter who you are.”
Fedotenko is, admittedly, coming off a subpar season in Pittsburgh a year ago and is hungry to bounce back with a strong 2010-11 season. Over 677 NHL games with the Flyers, Lightning, Islanders, and Penguins, Fedotenko has scored 150 goals and recorded 308 points. Last year with the Penguins, he had 11 goals and 19 assists.
“I feel like last year was my downside, but I feel like I can be a 25-goal scorer and bring physical play to the team,” said Fedotenko. “I want to win another Cup and want to continue to play in the NHL.”Older Parise brother will also be in camp
|Jordan Parise |
Another player hoping to earn a contract with the Rangers organization after being invited to training camp is 28-year-old goaltender Jordan Parise. The former University of North Dakota star comes from strong NHL bloodlines -- his brother is Devils winger Zach Parise and his father is former NHL forward J.P. Parise.
Jordan actually had the opportunity to play in the same organization with his younger brother, Zach, when he was a part of the Devils AHL affiliate in Lowell for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons.
“That was a lot of fun,” said Parise, who has played in Austria the past two seasons. “(Zach) is one of the hardest workers I have ever met and he has deserved everything he has ever gotten. Unfortunately I took the route of being a goaltender, and very few goaltenders ever have a straight line to the NHL.”
With Henrik Lundqvist
and Martin Biron
already on the NHL roster, Parise is looking to impress the Rangers enough to earn an opportunity to play somewhere else in the organization.
“Let’s be realistic, they have two great goalies that are up in the NHL, so it’s just a situation where if the opportunity arises I would have made my way up enough where I could get an opportunity,” said Parise. “The stars need to be aligned for you to make it to the NHL. I don’t take any of my days for granted, and I love being out here with the guys. It hasn’t gotten to the ultimate goal yet, but it’s been a great ride.”