Washington Capitals: Eric Fehr Signing Brings Added Depth and Experience

Barry LeonardAnalyst IIIJanuary 14, 2013

BOSTON - OCTOBER 21:  Eric Fehr #16 of the Washington Capitals skates against the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden on October 21, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts.  The Bruins won 4-1.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

A familiar face will be returning to D.C. for the 2013 season to add depth to a team aiming to make a long playoff run. According to washingtoncapitals.com, the Capitals signed veteran right winger Eric Fehr to a one-year contract worth $600,000. The signing was announced on Sunday by general manager George McPhee.

Fehr rejoins a Capitals team that he was a part of from 2005-2011, when the winger scored 46 goals and 47 assists. Though he has never averaged more than 12:35 of ice time in any of his NHL seasons, he can serve as a nice plug-in to any line when needed.

His most productive season with Washington was 2009-10, when he registered 39 points, scoring 21 goals with 18 assists. That season he was also an important postseason contributor for the Caps, netting three goals and an assist in seven games.

The Manitoba native spent last season in his homeland as a member of the Winnipeg Jets, playing in just 35 games with two goals and an assist.

Fehr brings leadership skills, and his veteran presence will be useful in the locker room. He likely won't see much ice time with the Capitals and may end up being listed as a healthy scratch on most nights.

With the offseason addition of forward Joey Crabb and the signing of Joel Ward in 2011, the third and fourth lines already have regular starters at right wing—the spot Fehr would most likely fit into.

Though it's not expected he will be called upon often, just having him as an option provides a boost to Washington. With the condensed schedule due to the NHL lockout, guys may be given more rest than usual, making depth a key.

Injuries also always seem to creep up during a regular NHL season and that will likely be the case in 2013. Fehr will be ready to step in when needed and bring a spark to whichever line he is placed on.

During the lockout, he showed that he still has skill. Playing for HPK in Finland, he racked up 25 points in 21 games.