Fedotenko Will Stay in Pittsburgh Next Year

Eric NaughtonCorrespondent IJuly 3, 2009

SAN JOSE, CA - OCTOBER 28:  (L-R) Evgeni Malkin #71, Sidney Crosby #87 and Alex Goligoski #13 of the Pittsburgh Penguins congratulate Ruslan Fedotenko #26 after Fedotenko scored a third period goal against the San Jose Sharks during the NHL game at HP Pavilion on October 28, 2008 in San Jose, California.  The Sharks defeated the Penguins 2-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Ray Shero managed to keep one piece of the Stanley Cup puzzle in Pittsburgh. Unrestricted free agent Ruslan Fedotenko has signed a one-year, $1.8 million contract.

(Read more at Pittsburgh Penguins News and SI.com.)

Fedotenko joins Craig Adams and Bill Guerin as players who took a pay cut to stay with the Stanley Cup Champions.

This is good news for the Penguins on the heels of losing two important defensemen in Hal Gill and Rob Scuderi, who took big pay increases from the Canadiens and Kings, respectively.  Due to salary cap issues, there is no chance that Pittsburgh would have been able to afford these two players, even with hometown discounts.

Fedotenko represents the most important free-agent retention for the club.  Feds has great chemistry with Evgeni Malkin and scored 39 points in 65 regular-season games as well as seven goals and 14 points in the playoffs.

Deals have not been made with Petr Sykora, Miroslav Satan, Phillippe Boucher, or Mike Zigomanis.  While Satan is likely to leave Pittsburgh, Sykora should be a top priority for the Pens.

Sykora is an important player for Pittsburgh with 46 regular-season points.  His late-season slump and playoff absence has been attributed to a shoulder injury.

Shero has proven to not be in a hurry this year and results on these contracts might be pending for some weeks.

EDIT:  Ray Shero's comments here indicate that they may not be trying to re-sign Boucher but confirm my thoughts that Sykora's future will unfold over the next week or so.