Before Thursday July 3, it seemed as if Ray Shero’s free agency signing strategy wasn’t panning out. After the signings of Miroslav Satan and Ruslan Fedotenko, Penguins fans can all breathe a little easier.
The addition of the two former Islanders adds two potential 20-goal scorers to the lineup, as well as fills the very vacant wing position. Before Thursday, Pascal Dupuis was the lone left-winger under contract that will likely start next season.
For those fans that don’t know much about the two, I will try to give you an idea of each player.
Satan is the better known of the two, having played 13 seasons in the NHL. Of those 13 seasons, he has played at least 60 games in 12, proving his durability throughout the course of an NHL season.
The Slovakian winger, who turns 34 at the beginning of this coming season, showed point-scoring consistency before landing on the Island in 05-06. Forgetting his third season where he only played in 12 games, Satan has averaged 27 goals and 56 points per season.
However, being a part of an Islander team that struggled to compete seemed to drag Satan down. His first season in blue and orange produced 66 points, an improvement on his final season in Buffalo. Years two and three were less impressive, with Satan compiling 59 and 41 points respectively.
One would think that Satan would be placed on Sidney Crosby’s right wing, leaving the left wing still up for grabs. Regardless of the third line mate, Satan will benefit greatly from being on the ice with Crosby, becoming a 25-goal scoring threat again.
As for Fedotenko, he is a 20-goal threat with the right line mates.
Over his seven NHL seasons, Fedotenko has averaged roughly 18 goals and 34 points a year. His shining moment came as a member of Tampa Bay’s 03-04 Stanley Cup winning squad, scoring 12 goals and adding two assists in the championship run.
In the first post-lockout season, Fedotenko rode his playoff momentum and scored 26 goals en route to 41 points.
As was the case with Satan, Fedotenko produced mediocre numbers for the Islanders. In his one season in Long Island, Fedotenko scored 16 goals and registered 17 assists. He also missed the last 11 games of the season with a knee injury.
What can’t be overlooked is the post-season experience of the two. Fedotenko knows what it takes to win a Stanley Cup, and Satan has played in over 50 playoff games. Now that the Penguins have success and experience in th post-season, players with the same only compliment the young squad.
The signing process is far from over, and many holes still exist on the depth chart. Two left wing spots are still vacant, and the departure of Jarkko Ruutu, Georges Laraque and Ryan Malone takes away from the grit factor the Pens had in 07-08.
Also, Jaromir Jagr is still on the market and rumor is that Pittsburgh and Edmonton are the front-runners in talks (tsn.ca).