The Washington Capitals today announced they traded winger Eric Fehr to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a fourth round pick in the 2012 entry draft and RW Danick Paquette.
The move clears $2.2 million off the Capitals' salary cap for the upcoming season.
Paquette, 20, had 13 goals and seven assists with 179 penalty minutes for the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL last season. He was originally a third round pick of the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2008 entry draft.
On the ice, this looks like a big loss for the Capitals. Fehr was a first round selection, had a pair of 50-goal campaign in the minors, and has shown the talent to be a consistent 15-20 goal scorer in the NHL, especially considering coach Bruce Boudreau's reluctance to use the winger on the power play. But Fehr has had multiple surgeries on his shoulder, and reports this summer have indicated that he will not be ready to play at the start of camp as a result of his latest surgery.
The Caps have acquired several wingers via trade or free agency in the last couple of week with the idea of adding toughness to the team without sacrificing some scoring ability. Fehr was seen as an offensive option, but a liability physically and defensively. Combined with his injury history and the knowledge that Washington was up against the Caps with Karl Alzner yet to be re-signed, the package the Capitals got back for a potential 20-goal scorer was more about freeing up the money than getting talent back.
GM George McPhee did Fehr a solid, trading him to a team that can use the offensive help, and moving Fehr back to Manitoba, where he grew up.