|Fehr back in the good old days...|
As was reported earlier this week, the Caps have gone ahead and signed right wing Eric Fehr to a one year, $600,000 contract.
The 27 year old has spent the lockout with HPK of the SM-liiga in Finland, and has put up good numbers - in 21 games he has scored 13 goals, added 12 helpers (25 points) and is plus-13. Whilst these numbers appear promising, he was in less impressive form for the Winnipeg Jets in 2011-12, putting up two goals and an assist in his 35 games and was minus-9, not particularly promising numbers.
Fehr is from Winkler, Manitoba, wears number 16. He's a physical presence, measuring in at 6'4 and 212 lbs, and was a prolific scorer in his junior days, scoring 111 points (59 goals and 52 assists) for the Brandon Wheat Kings in his final season of 2004-05, setting a WHL record of five overtime goals. He went on to lead the team to the WHL finals, picking up 16 goals and 16 assists along the way.
The Caps are very familiar with Fehr, as are the fans. Originally drafted by the Caps 18th overall back in 2003, he stayed with the Capitals organisation, spending time with Hershey in the AHL, until the 2011 offseason when he was traded to the Jets for a 2012 4th round draft pick (Thomas Di Pauli) and tough prospect Danick Paquette. Fehr was a far stronger player during his time with the Capitals, where he had a top year of 21 goals, 18 assists and plus-18 in 2009-10 (he continued this form in the playoffs, putting up 3 goals in seven games in the ill-fated series against Montreal.) Another great highlight of Fehr's time with the Capitals was his two goals during the Capitals' 3-1 victory against the Penguins in the 2011 Winter Classic and Heinz Field.
From an analytical point of view, this signing is a great one - it is low risk as it barely effects the salary cap, meaning that he can be used as a fairly inexpensive depth forward if necessary, but if he is able to return to his 2009-10 form, the Caps may have picked up a bargain third line scoring forward. He will likely be contending with Joel Ward, Tom Wilson and Joey Crabb for the spots on the third and fourth line. With Tom Poti coming back with a bang after a two year exile, there's no reason that Fehr can't do the same after one bad season. Who knows, maybe we'll win the East again....