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Eric Fehr is happy to be back in Washington playing for the Caps.
The Washington Capitals 2013 training camp is notable for the return of two familiar faces.
After being drafted by the Capitals in the first round of the 2003 NHL draft, Eric Fehr played his first six NHL seasons with the Capitals before joining the division-rival Winnipeg Jets in 2011-12. Winnipeg released the oft-injured forward this summer, and Fehr played for Hämeenlinnan Pallokerho (HPK) in Finland. As a result of some advanced scouting, Fehr was recently signed by the Capitals to a one-year deal worth $600,000, and he has rejoined the team with a new-found confidence.
GM George McPhee explained to Adam Vingan of NBC4 Washington that it "looks like he’s gotten over the surgeries and the rehab and he also was playing really well in Finland, so we thought it’d be a nice addition."
Fehr himself added to those sentiments, also to Adam Vingan:
I definitely had to play hockey during the lockout. That was something that I really wanted to do. I had a tough year last year and I wanted to get back playing, put it behind me. I’m real happy that I went to Finland. I was able to start playing, to start scoring again and get the confidence back up.
And there is another familiar face for the Washington Capitals as the 2013 season gets underway. Tom Poti was invited to training camp and is currently playing with the Hershey Bears as part of a conditioning assignment.
The 35-year-old defender impressed Bears head coach Mark French in his return to pro hockey after being sidelined with injuries for two seasons. French told Ben Raby of WTOP, "I thought he was very efficient, he avoided contact and you can see his overall skill level, so I thought it was a very successful comeback for him."
Tom Poti also felt pleased with his progress, as he explained to Ben Raby:
The last week-and-a-half to two weeks, I've had no pain at all and I've kind of been able to do everything out there that I've wanted to do on the ice. It's just a matter of me getting comfortable out there on the ice again kind of getting the rust off. I think I'd be alright just kind of jumping in. Sometimes it's better, as I've experienced in the past, to just throw yourself into the fire- you learn quicker that way and you kind of get used to things better…This will be a big test for me and I'll be up to the challenge.
The Capitals hope Eric Fehr and Tom Poti reclaim some of their old magic—and then some.