Tampa Bay Lightning: Former F Ruslan Fedotenko Announces Retirement

Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Former Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ruslan Fedotenko has announced his retirement from the NHL after 12 seasons.

Ever since the Tampa Bay Lightning came into creation in 1992, there have been many players to put on a Lightning jersey and take the ice with the team. A slightly smaller amount of those players have gone on to accomplish great things in the National Hockey League.

Today, one of those players who accomplished great things with the Tampa Bay Lightning has elected to call it a career. Former Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ruslan Fedotenko has announced his retirement from the National Hockey League.

Ruslan Fedotenko has played in the National Hockey League for a total of 12 seasons. Of those 12 seasons, Fedotenko spent four seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning /

Tampa Bay Lightning

One of the most memorable moments in Ruslan Fedotenko’s four seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning came in the 2003-04 season. Fedotenko played in 22 of the 23 games the Lightning played in the most memorable postseason runs to date.

In that amount of time, Fedotenko was able to bring home 12 goals and two assists for a total of 14 points. Fedotenko’s 12 goals tied him with former Tampa Bay Lightning forward and Conn Smythe winner Brad Richards for first place on the team in terms of goals.

As we mentioned before, Fedotenko spent a total of four seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning. In those four seasons, the Ukrainian forward played in a total of 313 games. In those 313 games, Fedotenko scored 74 goals and 70 assists for a grand total of 144 points.

After his final season with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Fedotenko would sign a one-year contract with the New York Islanders. Following the conclusion of the 2007-08 season, Fedotenko would sign another one-year contract; this time with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Alongside players like Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and forward Evgeni Malkin, Ruslan Fedotenko would capture his second Stanley Cup Championship in the 2008-09 season. The 2008-09 season would prove to be a career-high for Fedotenko.

Ruslan Fedotenko would spend one more season with the Pittsburgh Penguins before making his way to the New York Rangers. He would go on to spend two seasons with the Rangers before heading back to the Philadelphia Flyers, the where he got his NHL start back on the 2000-01 season.

Unfortunately, his season with the Flyers would prove to be the last time Fedotenko would take NHL ice. After his one season with the Philadelphia Flyers, Fedotenko would sign a three-year contract with HK Donbass Donetsk, who at the time were a member of the Kontinental Hockey League.

Fedotenko longed to help build the game of hockey in his native Ukraine; however, a seemingly never-ending string of violence in the Ukraine led to the destruction of the Druzhba Arena where Donbass would play, Fedotenko would make his way back to North American Hockey.

On January 20, 2015, the Iowa Wild would sign Fedotenko to a Professional Try Out. Just a few months later, Fedotenko’s time in Iowa would become a little more permanent as he signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Wild.

Ruslan Fedotenko would play just 16 games with the Iowa Wild in the 2015-16 season, bringing home a mere four assists. Unbeknownst to fans at the time, this would be the final time Fedotenko would take the ice as a player.

In the twelve seasons Fedotenko played in the National Hockey League, he played in a total of 863 games. In that amount of time, the Ukrainian forward was able to score 173 goals and 193 assists for a total of 366 points.

Every player has a journey to take, but we must say the journey of Ruslan Fedotenko is one of the more unique journeys we have heard of to date. There is no denying that Ruslan Fedotenko will forever hold a place in the hearts of Tampa Bay Lightning fans all across the Bolts Nation.

Ruslan Fedotenko scored both goals for the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Calgary Flames; essentially handing the Lightning their first-ever Stanley Cup Championship in Franchise history.

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We here at Bolts By The Bay would like to wish Ruslan Fedotenko and his family the very best as he transitions into the next journey in life. There is no telling if Fedotenko would ever look to rejoin the National Hockey League in an off-ice capacity, but we’re pretty sure he always has a home here in the Bolts Nation.