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Hockey: Washington Capitals trade freshman Ruth

Kyle Cassily | Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Washington Capitals traded their rights for Notre Dame freshman defenseman Teddy Ruth to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Sergei Fedorov.

The deal came shortly before Tuesday’s trade deadline for the National Hockey League.

Fedorov, a 17-year NHL veteran who won three Stanley Cups as one of the iconic players of the Detroit Red Wings in the 1990s, was in the final year of a five-year, $40 million contract with the Blue Jackets. He will be an unrestricted free agent next season.

“[The Blue Jackets are] trading for a good prospect, and they’re trying to build their organization,” Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson said. “And instead of getting nothing for [Fedorov], they got a good hockey player.”

The Russian center, who won the Hart Memorial Trophy for the NHL’s most valuable player in 1994, has 469 goals and 663 assists in his career. He is fourth in points, goals and assists in Detroit history.

The Capitals currently sit in 11th place in the Eastern Conference and are five points behind the Philadelphia Flyers, who occupy the final playoff spot. The Blue Jackets are in a similar position in the Western Conference, sitting at 11th overall and five points behind the final playoff berth.

The Capitals drafted Ruth (6-foot, 201 pounds) in the second round (46th overall) of the June 2007 Entry Draft. Prior to the draft, Central Scouting ranked Ruth as the No. 11 draft-eligible North American and 32nd among all North American skaters.

Jackson said there was a good chance that Don Boyd, the Blue Jackets’ director of player personnel, was on hand at last weekend’s Notre Dame-Ohio State series because Boyd’s son, Peter, is a freshman forward for the Buckeyes.

Fedorov left the Red Wings in 2003 for Anaheim. He played two seasons there before moving to Columbus in 2005.

Fedorov was drafted by Detroit in 1989 while he played for the Red Army club team in Moscow. He defected from the Soviet Union at the Goodwill Games in Seattle in 1990 and caught a plane to Detroit.

Ruth has one goal and two assists in 31 games this season and a plus-13 rating. Last season, he was an alternate captain for the under-18 U.S. national team