For the third straight day, the Washington Capitals announced a contract signing of one of their restricted free agents. On Thursday, Eric Fehr and the Capitals came to terms on a two-year deal that will pay the 24-year-old winger a total of $4.4 million.
Fehr, the Capitals’ first-round (18th overall) choice in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, is coming off his best NHL season. The Winkler, Manitoba native totaled 21 goals and 39 points in 69 games with Washington in 2009-10. He was also a career best plus-18, going plus-17 on the road and plus-1 on home ice.
Fehr added another three goals and four points in the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs. Only Alex Ovechkin
and Nicklas Backstrom
(five each) scored more playoff goals for Washington than Fehr in 2010. Including the regular season, Fehr notched seven goals in 11 games against the Montreal Canadiens last season.
Injuries stalled the early portion of Fehr’s career. Back and shoulder ailments curtailed his availability and his effectiveness right into the start of the 2009-10 season. At this time last summer, Fehr was recovering from surgery on both shoulders. A debilitating back injury limited him to a total of just 88 total games (AHL and NHL combined) in a two-season span from 2006-08.
Finally back to full strength last fall, Fehr managed to make the most out of the least last season. Of the 110 players who scored 20 or more goals during the 2009-10 campaign, Fehr had by far the lowest average ice time per game. He skated just 12:08 per game, a full 2:35 less than each of the other 109 players in the NHL with 20 or more goals last season. Fehr’s average ice time per game ranked 11th among all Washington forwards while he ranked seventh among Caps forwards in goals scored.
Fehr’s contract signing comes two days after that of Boyd Gordon, who occupies the locker stall next to Fehr in the dressing room at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Fehr’s deal comes just one day after his road roommate – defenseman Jeff Schultz
– came to terms on a four-year deal with Washington.