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Sports Ticker
7/6/2006 10:48:49 AM

TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) - 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 Seven of the 2004 Finals.
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