He struggled for his hometown team. The Winkler native was 60 miles from his hometown in Winnipeg, but simply could not get healthy. Fehr underwent surgery on his right shoulder in October season, and never seemed to fully recover. He appeared in 35 games for the Jets, scoring two goals and tallying one assist for the team that missed the playoffs by eight points. The Jets didn’t offer him a contract, and suddenly, Fehr was unwanted.
Until January 13th. Fehr got the call and signed a one year deal worth $600,000. The Caps fan base was kinda glad that the Winter Classic hero was back, but there wasn’t much fanfare for the guy that was coming off one of his worst statistical years of his career. Nobody expected much.
But boy did he deliver.
Eric Fehr will never be the superstar that the Capitals envisioned when he was drafted with the 18th overall pick in the 2003 draft, the man who was selected right after Zach Parise and before notable players such as Ryan Getzlaf (19th), Ryan Kesler (23rd), Mike Richards (24th), Corey Perry (28th), or even the 245th pick in Dustin Byfuglien (believe me, there is many more notable picks, but I think you get my point). But hey, atleast he wasn’t Hugh Jessiman, who was selected six spots before him.
What Eric Fehr is now expected to do is to become a role player. A grinder. A guy who can be relied on the penalty kill, and maybe sometimes the power play. He did have two power play goals, and one short handed goal.
But, what was most impressive from Eric Fehr this year was his ability to give his team momentum. Remember his overtime goal against Boston? But even think about the duo of Eric Fehr and Mathieu Perreault this year in the playoffs. That was the third line, and while he never did produce a goal, you always felt like his time was right there. And sometimes that is a great thing. It means he’s creating chances, winning board battles, and just increasing the tempo of play. Because he doesn’t have to directly score to influence the game. Maybe when he was so close to scoring on one shift, it fired up Ovie on his next shift. Maybe that pressure Fehr provided on the forecheck gave Brouwer that extra boost to score a goal. You never know.
Fehr earned himself quite the pay raise, signing a two-year $3,000,000 contract. And he deserved it. We had to let Fehr go, but we are oh so happy that he is back where he belongs.
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