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Magazine > NHL Athlete
As seen in the Jan/Feb 2012 issue.

Playing to win
With two championships under his belt, veteran forward Ruslan Fedotenko wants to add a third to his repertoire.
By Patrick Kearns | Photos by Claude Belanger

You've heard the old adage: "you win with players like him."

Well, Ruslan Fedotenko may be the living embodiment of that mantra.

The two-time Stanley Cup Champion has only missed the opportunity to compete in the NHL playoffs once in his 11-year NHL career.

Simply put, he is a winner, a fact upon which he prides himself. Even while discussing life in New York City, his main focus never swerves from adding another ring to his collection. You could say it's an obsession.

"Just need to win the Stanley Cup, and that would be everything," he says, adding that another ring in his already extensive collection would be the cherry on top of his time spent with the Rangers.

Playing for an Original Six franchise in North America's largest, most lively metropolis is not something that every NHL player gets to experience.

The Kiev, Ukraine native relishes the opportunity, and is simply thrilled to be putting on the blue sweater each night at the World's Most Famous Arena.

"I love it. I think it's a great place to live, [a] great place to play. I think our organization is great, the city is great, travel is great. Can't complain about anything."

Growing up in a big city himself, it didn't take the winger too long to adapt to the pace of New York. He claims to be used to the noise and crowds, so it was not too precipitous a change for him. He does admit, however, to one distinct difference between NYC and his hometown.

"You have a lot of visitors," he explained. "When they come in, obviously we go to shows, restaurants and everything else. I think it's definitely when you live in New York... a lot of people want to come and visit you."

The life of an NHL player is often nomadic, which takes a toll on many players. Malleability is a important trait to foster when you spend you life moving from city to city and racking up miles on the road.

"Wherever I am, I am enjoying whatever that place offers," he candidly explains about the many places he has had to call home throughout his career.

On the ice, Ruslan is a fearless player, a quality he carries to his off-ice interests as well.

If he had not been gifted enough to play professional hockey, he admits he would "probably be racing cars," another arena in which he believed he would succeed.

He remains focused, however, on the ultimate goal. And for Fedotenko, that goal is always winning. He refuses to be distracted, and uses every day to become a better player, a better winner.

"Right now I'm just focusing on having a another Stanley Cup, another ring on my finger... that's the goal and I am just trying to focus on that."

No small task. But then again, Fedotenko is no ordinary player.

For more stories from the Jan/Feb 2012 issue of The Fourth Period Magazine, pick up a copy or subscribe today.


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