After signing Guerin to a one-year deal on Monday, the Penguins announced that they agreed to terms with Fedotenko Friday afternoon. Rob Rossi of the Tribune Review reports the deal as being worth $1.8 million, down from the $2.25 million he made a season ago.
After a slow start to the season, Fedotenko picked up his play in late December/early January, only to be sidelined for a month after breaking his hand on Colby Armstrong's face in a game against the Atlanta Thrashers. He finished the season with 16 goals and 23 assists, while also tallying seven goals -- and seven assists -- in the playoffs.
It's been another uneventful start to the offseason for the Penguins, which has been a trend during Shero's watch. He's entering his fourth year with Pittsburgh, and if there's one thing we've learned about him it's that he's extremely patient, and tends to let the free agency field sort itself out before he jumps in. And even then, he tends to pick through the players that fall through the cracks. Here's a rundown of his offseason moves (not including re-signings of players already on the roster) since being hired after the 2005-06 season:
July 4, 2006: Signed left wing Jarkko Ruutu (two years) and defenseman Mark Eaton (two years)
July 21, 2006: Acquired left wing Nils Ekman and goaltender Patrick Ehelechner from the San Jose Sharks for a 2007 second-round pick.
July 24, 2006: Signed right wing Ronald Petrovicky (one year).
July 26, 2006: Signed right wing Mark Recchi (two years).
July 13, 2007: Signed center Jeff Taffe (two years) and goaltender John Curry (two years).
July 20, 2007: Signed goaltender Ty Conklin (one year)
July 4, 2008: Signed left wing Ruslan Fedotenko (one year) and right wing Miroslav Satan (one year)
July 5, 2008: Signed left wing Matt Cooke (two years).
July 7, 2008: Signed forward Janne Pesonen (one year) and defenseman Ben Lovejoy (one year).
July 17, 2008: Acquired the rights to defenseman Danny Richmond from the Chicago Blackhawks for the rights to center Tim Brent.
Only twice has he acquired a new player on July 1, otherwise known as the NHL's "silly season," when the top players tend to go for the most money. The two players? Eric Godard and Mike Rupp, fourth-line grinder types. Beyond that, only one free agent has been signed to a contract longer than two years (Godard). It's not at all surprising given the Penguins' current cap situation, and the amount of money they've invested in their core players like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury, Jordan Staal, and Brooks Orpik. It's difficult to argue with the strategy as the Penguins have qualified for the postseason every year during Shero's tenure, playing in the Stanley Cup Final twice, winning it once.
Factoring in Fedotenko's new deal, the Penguins' current salary commitment for the 2009-10 season is, approximately, $53 million to 19 players, leaving the team about $3 million in cap space to find a replacement for Rob Scuderi (signed with Los Angeles on Thursday) and a backup goalie (likely to be John Curry, who is currently a restricted free agent).
The best defensemen remaining on the free agent market are probably Anaheim's Francois Beauchemin and Carolina's Dennis Seidenberg. Both are likely to be out of the Penguins' price range, while shot-blocking specialist Jay McKee was bought out by the St. Louis Blues a little over a week ago.