Shortly after the Pittsburgh Penguins traded away center Brandon Sutter to the Vancouver Canucks for Nick Bonino and Adam Clendening, the team continued to make moves to improve its roster with a solid free agent signing.
The team announced that it had come to terms with free agent center Eric Fehr on a three-year contract worth $6 million per year.
Fehr, 29, is coming off an season in which he tallied 19 goals and 14 assists for 33 points for the Washington Capitals. In 454 NHL games, Fehr has 89 goals and 88 assists for 177 points. He underwent offseason elbow surgery on June 3, and will be out of action for four-six months. This places his return anywhere between October and December.
From the press release:
Fehr’s best season came in 2009-10 when he posted career highs in goals (21), assists (t-18), points (39) and plus-minus (plus-18). Fehr scored two goals against the Penguins in the 2011 Winter Classic at Heinz Field in Washington’s 3-1 victory.
The Winkler, Manitoba native played parts of three seasons with Hershey of the American Hockey League. He posted 25 goals and 53 points for the Bears in 2005-06, chipping in eight goals and 11 points in 19 postseason games to help Hershey capture the Calder Cup.
With the addition of Fehr as well as the aforementioned trade to bring in Bonino, the Penguins vastly improve their bottom six center situation while also reducing overall team cost. The moves by general manager Jim Rutherford continue show the organization is ready to change its fortunes after last season’s disappointing first-round playoff exit after just barely squeaking into the postseason.