It’s a strange and long and winding story for Winkler, Manitoba’s Eric Fehr.
The recently much maligned 6’4, 212 lb. winger has hit another rough patch on his road to recovery.
Bogged down with shoulder injuries the past few seasons, Fehr has never played more than 69 games in a season – that coming during the 2009-10 campaign with the team that drafted him – the Washington Capitals.
In 69 games, Fehr collected 21 goals and added 18 assists, was a plus 18 and saw some valuable power play time on a Capitals team that has the firepower of Alex Ovehckin, Alex Semin, and Nicklas Backstrom.
Resigned to only suit up for 52 games last season, collecting only 20 points, Fehr’s stock seemed to drop – not only with the Capitals but with then head coach Bruce Boudreau, who opted to bench or scratch Fehr at times despite him being healthy and ready to play.
Shift the focus back to Winnipeg as Fehr was dealt to his "hometown" team this past summer in a deal that, if Fehr can produce numbers as he did in 2009-10, would be a win-win trade for the Jets.
Fehr recently suited up for his first five games in a Jets uniform, notching an assist in his last game on November 29th against Ottawa.
However, Fehr didn’t seem 100% as he was a minus three and didn’t seem to be using his 6’4 frame to its full advantage.
At times, Fehr seemed frustrated and now he is listed as day-to-day as his shoulder problems have risen back to the surface.
It would be a fair argument to say that Fehr’s success in 2009-10 was all attributed to playing with the likes of the Capitals high octane offensive players, however, there is more to the Manitoba native’s resume than meets the eye.
Fehr notched 111 points in his final season of junior hockey with the Brandon Wheat Kings and also showed impressive offensive numbers in the AHL with the Hersey Bears – twice scoring 20 goals or more in a season.
Indeed, Fehr has the arsenal and the talent to be a 20 goal scorer in the NHL and he has reached that plateau – albeit with Ovechkin, Semin, and Backstrom.
But with a young, enthusiastic, and talented young forward core in Winnipeg, Fehr should be counted upon to not only score but to wreak havoc at the top of the paint and in the corners.
Fans should not lose hope in the state that the hometown player is in because, when healthy, Eric Fehr could be one of the most dangerous Jets on the ice.
We all saw Fehr takeover the 2011 Winter Classic.
We all know he notched 21 goals two seasons ago.
Now, it’s time for us to realize that perhaps Eric Fehr may need more time to heal than originally thought.
And if it helps him get back to where he was and where he can contribute the most – then that’s worth the trade value of Eric Fehr.