The Pittsburgh Penguins announced today that they had signed former Washington Capitals center and half-Rocky Dennis Eric Fehr to a three year contract worth $2 million per year.
Fehr was beloved in Washington, the Capitals’ first-round draft pick in 2003, and seeing him leave for Pittsburgh feels sort of like watching Luke Skywalker buy a condo on the Death Star. But “fair” puns and cool nicknames will only keep you around for so long, and there’s a reason Fehr got his walking papers.
Well, limping papers. And there’s the problem. Fehr gets injured all. the. time.
A hockey season has 82 games, right? Right. Excluding his rookie year (in which players often spend large chunks of the season in the minor leagues), Fehr has played in the following number of games each season:
- 2006 – 14 games (17%)
- 2007 – 23 games (28%)
- 2008 – 61 games (74%)
- 2009 – 69 games (84%)
- 2010 – 52 games (63%)
- 2011 – 35 games (43%)
- 2012 (lockout shortened, 48 games total) – 41 games (85%)
- 2013 – 73 games (89%)
- 2014 – 75 games (91%)
That means Fehr is available to play in an average of 64% percent of your team’s games every year. That’s a failing grade in my alma mater, Prince William County Public Schools.
The Capitals are wise not to invest too much money in a player who won’t even be at work two out of every three games.
And remember when I mentioned that Fehr was a first-round draft pick, one of the holy chosen priemierephim of hockey?
Well, look at these other players Washington has drafted in the first round since Fehr:
- Alexander Ovechkin
- Mike Green
- Nicklas Backstrom
- Karl Alzner
- John Carlson
- Marcus Johansson
- Evgeny Kuznetsov
- Tom Wilson
- Andre Burakovsky
Also Filip Forsberg and Semyon Varlamov, who have panned out very well for other teams. Sure, there’s a Jeff Schultz or two in there, but the simple fact remains:
Eric Fehr is a bust. It was time to shit, or get off the pot, or start browsing the internet for the best job search sites, you’re going to need it. And the Capitals, like a stoner with an upcoming job interview, got off the pot. They’re going to let Pittsburgh pay his medical bills, now.