Best post-lockout Ranger: Round 1, Ruslan Fedotenko (8) vs. Fredrik Sjostrom (9)July 24, 2013, by
As the offseason wears on, us and Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) will be running a tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. Yesterday we saw #1 Ryan Callahan take out #16 Donald Brashear. Today’s matchup is #8 Ruslan Fedotenko vs. #9 Fredrik Sjostrom:
Ruslan Fedotenko (acquired – 2010 PTO/unrestricted free agency)
Fedotenko might be one of the best PTOs the Rangers have ever had. He wasn’t a big scorer (19-26-45) in his 139 games, but he was a big contributor on the defensive side of the puck. In his two years, he never started more than 41.5% of his shifts in the offensive zone. His line with Brian Boyle and Brandon Prust didn’t face the toughest competition, but they were still relied upon heavily to take those defensive zone draws and focus more on the defensive side of the game.
Fedotenko left New York for Philly when the Rangers decided to move in a different direction. His absence was definitely noticed on the bottom-six forwards.
Frederick Sjostrom (acquired -2008 trade with Phoenix)
Sjostrom was acquired from Phoenix when the Rangers sent Marcel Hossa and Al Montoya to the Coyotes in exchange for Sjostrom, David LeNeveu, Josh Gratton, and a 2009 conditional 5th round pick, which was used by the Rangers to draft Roman Horak.
While with the Rangers, Sjostrom was essentially a Ryan Callahan type of player, but without the offensive output. Sjo won over a lot of fans with his blue-collar work ethic, and with his desire to drive to the tough areas on the ice. That said, Sjostrom was a quality fourth line player who was able to chip in offensively here and there, but wasn’t relied upon for heavy lifting. Sjo played a lot like Cally, but couldn’t create offensive chances consistently.
Sjostrom eventually was not presented with a qualifying offer after the 2008-2009 season (and eventually signed with Calgary), which shows that the organization recognized his limitations has a professional hockey player. In his 97 games with the Rangers, Sjostrom finished with a line of 9-6-15 while playing aggressive fourth line hockey. Sjostrom now plays with Frolunda in the SHL.
So who do you think is the better Ranger, Fedotenko or Sjostrom? Vote thumbs up for the higher seed (Fedotenko), or thumbs down for the lower seed (Sjostrom). Voting ends at midnight tonight.