The Sweater Series (or Notable Numbers): #17 Ruslan Fedotenko

Raw Charge continues the numeric history of the Tampa Bay Lightning with #17, Ruslan Fedotenko, The Hero We Didn't Really Want But The One We Needed.

Once upon a time in 2002, the Tampa Bay Lightning had the fourth overall choice in the NHL Draft. General Manager Jay Feaster traded that choice to the Philadelphia Flyers for forward Ruslan Fedotenko (and two second round picks). Fans were upset. None of them liked this trade... except one fan. That fan said, "you will all feel differently some day when Fedotenko scores the Stanley Cup winning goal for the Lightning." All the other fans laughed. But did they apologize and then hoist that fan upon their shoulders and parade him through the streets of Tampa when that's exactly what happened two years later? No. Because that fan does not exist. Seriously, nobody liked this trade.

Fedotenko was signed by the Flyers as an undrafted free agent, making his NHL debut during the 00-01 season. Following the trade that brought him to Tampa Bay, he logged 313 games for the Lightning, during which he registered 74 goals and 70 assists. Most notably, serving as during the 2004 Cup run, he played in 22 games, and scored 12 goals, including the only two the Bolts managed in winning game 7 against the Calgary Flames.

He moved on prior to the 2007-08 season and spent time with the New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins (with whom he captured a second Stanley Cup), New York Rangers and a second stint with the Flyers. He played the 2013-14 season with HC Donbass of the Kontinental Hockey League in his native Ukraine. He is married and has three children.

Others who have worn #17 for the Lightning include Basil McRae, Jason Lafreniere, Gerard Gallant, Brent Peterson, Wendel Clark, Steve Guolla, Brian Holzinger, Ryan Johnson, Ryan Tobler, Jan Hlavec, Radim Vrbata, Todd Fedoruk and Alex Killorn.