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Lightning avoid arbitration with Fedotenko

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning avoided an
"unpleasant" arbitration case with left wing Ruslan Fedotenko on
Thursday, re-signing the 2004 Stanley Cup hero to a one-year,
$1.65 million contract.

The 27-year-old Fedotenko registered a career-high 26 goals and
15 assists in 80 games for the Lightning this past season.

"In a perfect world we would have liked to sign Ruslan to a
long-term contract," Lightning vice president and general
manager Jay Feaster said. "However, our reality in the salary
cap era is that we simply do not have the cap space available
right now to be buying out multiple years of unrestricted free
agency.

"Both sides recognized that arbitration was an option and,
coming off a 26-goal season, Ruslan was well-positioned for a
successful arb case. This contract is fair for both sides and
enables us to avoid the unpleasantness of salary arbitration
while also ensuring that Ruslan will be in camp and ready to go
to start the season."

Fedotenko, who has 95 goals and 79 assists in 385 career games
with the Philadelphia Flyers and Lightning, scored both goals in
Tampa Bay's Cup-clinching 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames
in Game 7 of the 2004 finals.