You could call defenseman Taylor Fedun a journeyman. He’s thrilled that you can call him a Pittsburgh Penguins player.
Fedun, 34, who signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Penguins in July, has played 127 NHL games for Edmonton, San Jose, Vancouver, Buffalo and Dallas, plus many more in the minor leagues, after coming out of Princeton as an undrafted free agent. He’ll be in the lineup Friday for the Penguins’ second preseason game, in Buffalo.
“It’s no secret that Pittsburgh’s one of the premier organizations,” Fedun said Friday after the game group’s morning skate at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. “To have the opportunity to come here, see that first-hand, is very enticing.”
Fedun could be considered fortunate to still be playing hockey at any level. Thursday marked 10 years since, as a prospect with Edmonton, he sustained a horrific broken leg in a preseason game:
“I hadn’t realized it was 10 years, so that’s a good thing it’s not at the forefront of my mind,” Fedun said. “It’s important for me to just do what I’m doing for me.”
That would be for the right-handed shot to try to shoehorn himself into a spot with the Penguins, who have considerable depth at defense.
“I think one of the biggest things for me is to have a good camp and establish my game,” Fedun said. “I understand contract situations and numbers on the (defense). If my place is in Wilkes, it’s (my job) to go down there and be a leader in the locker room — I’m one of the older guys if I am down there — and just keep working for that opportunity. At the same time, set a good example down there.”
Ten years ago, Fedun’s shot to make some sort of impact with the Penguins, or anywhere is hockey, was in doubt because of the broken leg, an injury that prompted a video about his rehab:
“It speaks volumes for his character and his commitment to the game and doing what he loves to do,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of Fedun’s comeback from the injury.