photo courtesy of the Winnipeg Sun
On July 8, 2011, Manitoba born Eric Fehr was acquired in a trade with the Washington Capitals in exchange for prospect Danick Paquette and a fourth round draft pick in 2012. The move caused much anticipation at the time, as Fehr was a former Brandon Wheat Kings star, even being named the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy winner as the Western Hockey Leagues MVP. and Washington's first round draft pick in 2003.
He had made a mark for himself in the Capitals organization, which he excelled from 2007-11. While never known for his speed, he was an imposing player at 6'4/215, and was a sniper that netted some key goals for the Caps during his tenure with the team. His best year coming in 2009-10, when he netted 21 goals and 39 points for Washington.
However, Fehr was known to be injury prone, having had lower back problems, and later on suffered a substantial injury to his shoulder last season. Despite this the Jets singed Fehr, with his $2.2 million contract. It was a gamble for the Jets, as Fehr was not 100% at the time of the deal. Two factors that may have influenced the signing on Fehr was his age (25), and the fact he was born and raised in the province.
Saying Fehr has been less than spectacular would be an understatement. Having only played in 14 of the team's first 38 games, Fehr has no goals, one assist, and is a disappointing -4. His play has been mediocre at best, and he does not seem to bring out his "A" game when the team really needs him.
Today, Jets coach Claude Noel called out Fehr for his inconsistent play, and even though he acknowledged Fehr's injury problem, stated that Fehr needs to play better to maintain a spot on the Jets roster.
I followed Eric Fehr since his days in junior hockey as a Brandon Wheat King. There is nothing more that I want to see than for Fehr to get better and show off his skills for the Jets in their quest to make it into the playoffs. However, I admit that I am not very optimistic. Fehr is running out of time, and I can definitely see the Jets unloading him in a package deal at the NHL trade deadline.