Eric Fehr: 2013-14 Season Review

I want people to see him walk down the street and say ‘there goes Eric Fehr, the best outdoor scorer there ever was’ (Photo: Jamie Sabau)

Eric Fehr is the best. He makes everything better. He’s like bacon. He’s the bacon of hockey players. If you don’t like bacon or Eric Fehr, you must have some kind of moral stance against awesome. That’s fine. It’s your call and I respect that, but you’re missing out. Bacon and Eric Fehr are awesome.

By the Numbers

73 Games played
14.4 Average time on ice per game
13 Goals
18 Assists
49.0% Shot attempt percentage during 5v5
48.6% Goal percentage during 5v5
7.9% On-ice shooting percentage during 5v5
92.3% On-ice saving percentage during 5v5

Peter’s Take

Eric Fehr didn’t get a lot of ice time until Thanksgiving. I guess he was sharing Dmitry Orlov’s doghouse. Say: do ya think, if those guys played, and lineups weren’t ridiculous, the Caps might’ve found four more standings points in those first two months? Yeah, me too. Oates.

Once Fehr got in the lineup, he was a solid but unspectacular role player, powering up the team’s forward depth and improving pretty much everyone he played with. Here are the only forwards who saw a smaller share of shot attempts when playing with Eric, minimum of 40 minutes together: Joel Ward (and just barely), Nick Backstrom, and Aaron Volpatti. Everyone else improved– and by an average of 1.5 percent. The guys Fehr spent the most time with– Chimera, Grabo, Ward, Brouwer– improved by 3.5 percent. That’s a lot.

While the rest of the team languished in possession hell, Fehr did something– and I have no earthly idea what– to remain afloat despite having below-average teammates and real tough zone starts.

chart_1

That’s astonishing.

In the end, Fehr sagged below 50 percent, but– ya know– Oates. Individually, he scored 13 goals and 31 points in just 73 games. With his shoulder problems a thing of the past, I think if you could give him a top-six slot on a non-Oates team for a full 82 games, you could get 20 goals out of Eric Fehr.

In case you didn’t notice, I love Eric Fehr. He’s gonna score a hatty at the Winter Classic. Take it to the bank.

Fehrsie on RMNB

In Pictures

Rachel Cohen got the jersey off Fehr’s back. Lucky girl.

Swordsmanship.

And here’s another game-winner.

Not a clean hit.

Your Turn

How great is Eric Fehr? I mean seriously? He’s great and all, but tell me using descriptive language. Write a haiku. Whatever. Let’s party.

Read more: Japers Rink

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  • http://twitter.com/1bscarbro Benjamin Scarbro

    Haikus? Terrible.
    Fehr is a star in my book.
    Away with Oates, Yay.

  • Shaun Phillips

    If he got consistent top 6 minutes with the same linemates (ya know, not Oates), I think he’d be in the 25-30 goal range. He’s got the best shot on the team not named Ovi (and might even beat Ovi in wristers).

    Put him back on the wing with a top 2 centerman and I think you’ll see him really flourish. He’s an upgrade over Mojo or Brouwer on the top 2 lines. His point production dropped off when he got moved to center, but was still driving the 3rd line to chances.

  • Graham Dumas

    Wait, did Wardo dip or improve when playing with Fehr? I could have misread, but I think your post says he did both. In which case, FEHR IS AMAZING!

  • Lawrence

    I too, love me some Fehr’sy. I’m glad he has shown that he can play at the NHL level again, it was starting to look like another Wolski situation. That said, he has always been inconsistent over his career, but this year he took leaps and bounds in that department. I think he has another level that he has not yet gone to and maybe he never will. He shows flashes of a 30-35 goal scorer and has the abilities to be a major game changer, but he either hasn’t gotten the ice time or still lacks in consistency. I love Fehr off the ice, great attitude, wonderful team guy, does everything asked of him and more, overall I think hes a pretty awesome dude. People love to talk about how great of a person Laich and Alzner are, where is the love for Fehr? This guy actually walks the talk, unlike some people we know.

  • Lawrence

    I agree with Mojo and Brouwer for sure. Mojo needs time to develop more, maybe him as the third center would be solid for a few years. This post made me sad and reminded me of someone:

    http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/semin-fACE.jpg

  • Owen Johnson

    Aaron Volpatti was getting more ice at the beginning of the season.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Sorry, that’s a bit confusing. Ward dropped like 0.2 percent. The collective group of players Fehr played with most improved by an average of 3.5 percent.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    god bless you

  • Graham Dumas

    I prefer this explanation of Fehr’s abilities.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vlAdMeZSfw

  • JH

    This:

    “Eric Fehr didn’t get a lot of ice time until Thanksgiving. I guess he was sharing Dmitry Orlov’s doghouse. Say: do ya think, if those guys played, and lineups weren’t ridiculous, the Caps might’ve found four more standings points in those first two months? Yeah, me too. Oates.”

  • tpr04

    The other point worth making is that Fehr was forced into playing center for the first time in his career. He had a slow start there and often seemed confused about where he was supposed to be especially in the defensive end, but he slowly got better as the season progressed. Another hindrance for him was that he was bounced around lines for quite a while – 4th line, 3rd line, replaced Ovie for a spell on the 1st line.

    Probably more than anyone other than Wilson, Fehr’s ice time suffered from Oates infuriating insistence of righties on the right side only. He was a much better option for 1L than mojo or 2L than an injured Laich.

  • Eric Schulz

    I agree, but “more time to develop” isn’t the way I’d put it; I don’t think time is the issue, exactly. He needs (I think) an expanded individual role while playing a smaller role for the team: the main puck carrier on a lower line, rather than the worst player on the top line. Tailor a lower line towards complementing him rather than trying to fit him into a complementary role on the top line. I don’t think that the latter is dumb on paper, but yeah, we’ve seen it doesn’t work.

  • tpr04

    He can skate and he can pass, but he can’t shoot, can’t finish, and isn’t physical. So where does that leave you? If 3C was the goal, I would have rather traded Mojo and kept Perrault, as Perrault was willing to play bigger than his size, which is what you need there. Mojo just isn’t good enough for 2C. I think he’s trade bait at this point.

  • Eric Schulz

    I certainly understand (and agree) about the first thing. (It’s not necessarily a bad thing as he should be a better player for it, although missing the playoffs so narrowly, and understanding what type of team we are – Ovie’s in his prime, we need to win NOW – that was dumb.) HOWEVER: how do you think that the latter was a hindrance? From a points-production standpoint, yes, of course being on a lower line hurt… but I’m not sure how much it hurt his *play.* I bring it up because I kind of think that bouncing around between lines is kind of on of Fehr’s strengths (the ability to do so, I mean). I prefer consistent lines, but if you want to shake things up, it’s hard (dumb) to move a guy like Ovechkin or Backstrom down, but Fehr is useful in that regard. Contrast that with Brouwer, for instance. Brouwer is not nearly as useful when he’s not scoring, so it’s much harder to put him on the 3rd line, say if you wanted to play matchups and pit our 3rd against their top, and try to put together a good two-way/possession line. (At least from what I’ve seen)

    Also, the top line probably should’ve been Fehr on the RIGHT wing, with Ovechkin on LEFT (until we got Penner; I’d rather have Penner on top, Fehr bolstering the 2nd or 3rd, depending on what you want the makeup of those two lines to be).

  • Eric Schulz

    I certainly don’t disagree about keeping Perreault. Backstrom, Grabovski, Perreault would’ve been a *much* better look for us at centers 1-3. And then Beagle is the obvious 4th, with Latta a legit option to replace Beagle in case of injury; Johansson would’ve been a nice backup plan if Perreault got injured (or if, like, Grabovski did, and then we had to move Perreault to 2nd).
    I also agree that Johansson is trade bait; I would DEFINITELY look to shop him. That’s because he’s young, cheap and talented; I wouldn’t look to move him because I don’t want him, but because I think he has near the most value among guys we can afford to move, and we have bigger holes to fill.

  • Lawrence

    I think given 3 – 4 years Mojo would be a very good 2c and maybe a decent first line winger, not a wheel. He hasn’t been developed properly at all and in many ways he has taken steps back from when he first joined the team. His defense has gotten worse, his finishing ability has gotten worse (the guy can’t hit an empty net), and he doesn’t use his speed nearly enough. I used to see so many good similarities to Backstrom, but those are slowly dying off. Trading him might be our best option, especially if it helps on the back end.

  • tim

    that he was languishing on the bench was the first major travesty of the Oates era, in my mind. it all went downhill from there. and trying to turn him into a center? it doesn’t make sense. i’m a huge Fehr fan. he’s the kind of depth guy who helps you win.

  • Connor

    Honestly I would love the see Fehrsie play with the top line. Move OV back to left wing. Sign Grabo, and this might be a shot in the dark but go get Paul Stastny if the Avs don’t resign him.

    Ovechkin – Backstrom – Fehr
    Kuznetsov – Stastny – Wilson
    Chimera – Grabovski – Ward
    Burakovksy/Brown? – Beagle/Latta – Laich (if not bought out)

    Alzner – Calson
    Top 4 – Green
    Orlov – Schmidt/Wey

    Holts – Grubs

    -Trade Mojo and Brouwer for either a top 4 D, or picks and sign a top 4 D like Anton Stralman? That’s a team I can get behind.

  • Eric Schulz

    I don’t think we can get Stastny, keep Grabovski, AND get the top-4 D. Also… Stralman? I think he’s too much of a puck-mover, and we have too many of those guys (haven’t watched him too much, could be wrong… but I don’t think so). Moving Brouwer *might* free up the Cap room to do it, though… Carrick is the third asset, btw; you dangle those three for the D.
    Burakovsky on 4th though? NO. He has to be at least on 3rd, or you let him develop in AHL.

  • Connor

    The cap is going up to around 70-71 million. I believe we have a projected 14 million of cap space after FA walk. I like the way Stralman has played throughout the playoffs, hes a top 4 that wouldn’t command too much $. Grabovski looked great paired with Ward and Chimmer last season, Stastny would be an amazing 2C while Grabo plays 3C. And yes I agree if Burakovksy is going to be 4th he shouldn’t be here. I just stuck his name in as someone we could see called up to be in the line-up to get NHL experience, while playing a majority of his season in the AHL. I agree that Carrick should be moved as well, I think we have too many better D men in the system than Carrick.

  • Eric Schulz

    In general, I prefer having your 2nd and 3rd lines be roughly interchangeable, depending on the game situation. Rather than a strict 1-4, with declining skills as you drop, I prefer:
    1st line – Obviously top talent. They have to have great talent AND production. They also shouldn’t hurt you (too much) defensively; hopefully at least one is actually talented defensively (Kopitar, Backstrom, Hossa, Toews, Datsyuk, perfect examples), but overwhelming possession works as well. Hopefully between the 3, you aren’t relying on the latter only.

    2nd line – Scoring. Here, you place your more one-dimensional players; if you have guys that are great offensive talents but aren’t great at possession, this, to me, is a good fit

    3rd line – Match-up line, defensively conscientious players, good stick skills, good-to-great possession numbers. Hopefully some ability to score as well, hopefully some physicality too

    4th line – depth, quality players who help you win even if not scoring; no face-punchers. You should roll lines if you can, and they should play 10-12 minutes. Sometimes, due to PPs, you may not be able to get them that much time, however, so they have to be able to play 7 minutes or so without hurting you; lower-risk guys, even if they also have lower-ceilings. 4th liners, so of course it’s not like high ceiling guys would be here anyway.

    Using that, I think Fehr is a better 3rd than 2nd. Top line has Ovechkin and Backstrom, obviously, plus one other guy. Fehr *could* fit here, but I prefer using him to bolster depth (hopefully we have that luxury). The 2nd… maybe it seems a little early to put Wilson on the 2nd line, but I think Kuznetsov – Grabovski – Wilson is a perfect 2nd line as I utilize them. We need a better two-way center; I’ve detailed elsewhere how I would go after Kesler. If not him, a similar player (he’ll certainly not be as good, but hopefully we can find a legit guy. Maybe he’s on the roster now; Latta, maybe?) If Laich returns even *mostly* to form, a 3rd of Laich – Kesler – Fehr would be perfect. You could easily call the 3rd the 2nd, and the 2nd the 3rd… again, it really depends on situation. If we get up early, then you probably lean a little more on the 3rd; the personnel on the 2nd would get more PP time than the 3rd, 3rd would be top PK unit (4th is 2nd PK unit). If we get down, the 3rd is still an asset, but 2nd gets more ice-time. I’d prefer to keep Penner for top line, use Brouwer as trade bait; use Johansson as trade bait too (and Carrick), and Latta could center the 4th line (Chimera, Ward). If we don’t sign Penner, Brouwer on top line; if we can’t acquire Kesler or some kind of facsimile thereof, I’d probably audition Latta there first. If that’s the case, I like Johansson’s speed and skill centering Chimera and Ward.
    1st option:
    Ovechkin – Backstrom – Penner
    Kuznetsov – Grabovski – Wilson
    Laich – Kesler – Fehr
    Chimera – Latta – Ward
    2nd: we can’t acquire Kesler

    Oveckin – Backstrom – Penner/Brouwer
    Kuznetsov – Grabovski – Wilson
    Laich – Latta – Fehr
    Chimera – Johansson – Ward
    3rd: Laich isn’t healthy/old-self
    Ovechkin – Backstrom – Penner/Brouwer
    Kuznetsov – Grabovski – Wilson
    Johansson – Kesler/Latta – Fehr
    Chimera – Latta/Brown – Ward
    dark horse: Burakovsky is ready AND Laich isn’t
    (if Burakovsky is ready, but Laich is himself, I say you still stash Burakovsky in AHL; more time to develop never hurt anybody.)
    Oveckin – Backstrom – Penner/Brouwer
    Burakovsky – Grabovski – Kuznetsov
    Fehr – Kesler/Latta – Wilson
    Chimera – Latta/Brown – Ward

  • Pat Magee

    Kesler isn’t gonna leave Vancouver. I’d be more inclined to say Paul Stastny is a possibility, though…

  • Eric Schulz

    Cap is going to be closer to $69 mil, it looks like; stupid Canadien dollar. Not a huge dif, but fyi.
    Yeah, but you don’t have Grabovski walking… I’d guess he gets a significant raise (I could see it not happening, he was injured… but I’d rather be conservative with my estimation at this point). Let me dick around with capgeek… I’ll let you know what I think it takes…
    If Stralman is the top-4 D, then yeah, even without looking I think we can do that. I just don’t think he’s the guy. If we moved Green, maybe. Orlov and Stralman on 2nd pair, Schmidt on 3rd (paired with Hillen, Brouillette, Wey… doesn’t matter, we have options)… that may work; certainly it frees up money, although that’s not why I’m moving Green. But I think Green needs a guy who is better defensively than Stralman AND more physical… and I think he’s too good to move (and not healthy enough to fetch a fair return).

  • Pat Magee

    Eric Fehr has been the man since he played for the Bears. 3OTGWG, anybody?

  • Eric Schulz

    Why do you think he doesn’t?
    A) Last I heard, he demanded a trade (did he come off that?)
    B) Dude, they are DEFINITELY rebuilding. I think Caps/Canucks have a trade to be made that is very good for both teams. We move some youth for Kesler; Carrick and Johansson, definitely… we could throw in Hillen probably (not youth, but even if rebuilding they could use cheap talent; worst case, they swing him too)… Brouwer could be expendable if we keep Penner (again, he’s not young, but they could also use him or at least use him as an asset later)… I’d throw in a 1st next year, and some prospects. I don’t see why they wouldn’t take something.
    If I was the Canucks GM, I realize it’s time to rebuild; they traded Luongo after trading Schneider, it certainly looks like they know they need to rebuild.

  • Connor

    That is true I didn’t figure in Grabo, with a raise he would probably have cap hit of 5 mill. The reason I think Stralman makes sense is his ability compared to how much money he would command on the open market. Tough market for top 4 D men that are FA. And if your going to trade for one you better get ready to give up a lot. I would love to move Green, but his return most likely wont be near what he is worth. If we still had Perreault I wouldn’t be thinking we need another center….

  • Eric Schulz

    I think Grabovski signs for something like $4.2-$4.4 mil… maybe I’m being overly optimistic there, but he’s definitely not worth close to $5 mil… obviously what you are *worth* matters less than what you *can get,* but he was injured for long enough (and twice), so I don’t think his value is as high as it could be… and at his highest, I’m not sure he commands $5 mil. Given that he only got $3 mil last year, it’s hard to imagine him jumping *that* much… I don’t know though. That’s maybe the area I know least about; hard to project.
    The FA market is weak on D, yes… I still prefer Meszaros, and I think Hannan or Greene are worth looks too (older, and I’ve heard they are about as good as you’d expect given their age – not top-4 – but I really like what I’ve seen). But in your scenario in which we sign Stastny, then we *should* have enough assets to acquire the top-4 D… Johansson and Carrick, we probably move Hillen (although him with Orlov on 3rd works too, but we have an abundance of guys who fit there… Hillen’s cheap, I don’t feel strongly either way), plus plenty of assets. If we keep Burakovsky and Barber, I don’t think I have a problem with the trade regardless of which prospects move out.

  • Eric Schulz

    Oh… I think finding the assets to acquire the top-4 D in a trade is EASY… obviously the hard part is finding a team willing to make that trade… if we didn’t trade Neuvirth, I think the Jets would’ve been a fit. Bogosian isn’t expendable there, and I’m sure they would want to keep him, but they needed a goalie BADLY (and with Trouba, Byfuglien, Stuart, Enstrom… they don’t hang up if you ask for Bogosian like they would’ve been Trouba emerged, at least). Neuvirth is a young, cheap starter… him plus Johansson, Carrick, a 1st next year… that seems too obvious of a fit for both teams to me.

  • Connor

    I agree I would be willing to move any prospects other than Bura and Barber. Brouwer could be appealing to many teams as he is 20+ scorer with “grit”. Trade Mojo and Brouwer and even maybe our 1st for a guy like Zach Bogosian? (wow you took the words out of my mouth as I was typing). Huge fan of Bogosian and hes young. I think you move out guys like Carrick and Hillen to clear room and a little cap space for our better young defensmen, get late draft shot in the dark picks for them (going to miss how GMGM was so great late in the draft).

  • tpr04

    It wasn’t just jumping from line to line, it was position to position and high minutes to low minutes. I can recall him playing 4C, 4R, 3C, and 1R. I’d rather have Ovie on the left side as well, but I was just referring to Fehr compared to who they had on the left side this past season.

  • Eric Schulz

    Yeah, I figured about the RW/LW thing… I don’t imagine anybody would really have a problem either way as long as those 3 are on the top line (I think there are a few options that are better than Fehr on top line, allowing us to have him bolster depth, but if we went with Ovie and Fehr as the top line wings, I certainly wouldn’t mind)… just wanted to throw it out there.

  • Connor

    Kessler would be an amazing 3C for us. His cap hit is only 5 mill and still has 3 years left. That being said he the Canucks are going to try and rob a team blind for him. It was rumored at the deadline that the Pens offered the Canucks a roster player, a first round pick, and two highly touted prospects and the the Canucks declined. I don’t even think a brouwer, mojo, 1st gets him here. And certainly mike green/brouwer or mojo and a 1st doesn’t get him here either. They would be demanding players like Backstrom, Kuznetsov, Carlson and he is not worth giving that up.

  • Eric Schulz

    They are rebuilding, we just overwhelm them with prospects:
    Johansson, Carrick, Brouwer, Hillen, a 1st next year, Sanford, Kundratek;
    add to that:
    – Stephenson
    or
    -Galiev, Anderson
    something like that.
    Johansson, Carrick, Brouwer and Hillen: Brouwer and Hillen are TWO roster players, Johansson and Carrick are BOTH roster players AND prospects
    plus a 1st and Sanford (ceiling of 2nd liner, he should have very nice value), Kundratek projects as a top-4?

  • Sarah

    #VictoryLoaf for Fehrsy too

  • Connor

    They could see hillen as we are just dropped out unwanted luggage on them. mojo, carrick, brouwer Stephenson and Galiev would be attractive to them, Kundratek not so much (isnt he like 27 years old?). I just have a bad feeling they are going to want Kuz, Bura, or Barber and we can’t do that

  • Eric Schulz

    I probably wouldn’t either, but I don’t see why Johansson, Carrick, Brouwer, Hillen, a 1st, and Sanford… that should do it, honestly. If we threw in Stephenson too… even if they want TOO MUCH value, I think we can afford to give that up. Shit, even Latta rather than Stephenson, since Kesler replaces Latta, and then we keep Stephenson; when Kesler declines, Stephenson replaces him, I think.

    Hillen is NOT unwanted luggage; he’s expendable, but he’s a legit 5th defender, and is cheap as shit… he has value.

  • nicoley-poley

    How much do I love
    Mother-freaking Eric Fehr?
    So damn much. So much.

    (the English major in me is cringing for that.)

  • Steve Killmon

    Fehr is super-great
    A wagon of the best kind
    Puck possession king

    Or, alternately:

    Very F-sixteen
    Much hockey, so scoar moar goal
    Such Rask killer. Wow.

  • Connor

    If we are going to give that much up, I would want to see an Edler, Bieksa, or Hamhuis back in return. And we are going to have to hold on to all future picks if we are going to deplete our prospects that much.

  • Eric Schulz

    I don’t see why we don’t get both Kesler and one of those D for that much… I thought I mentioned that, maybe it was somewhere else. Again, if they are rebuilding, they would be willing to give up at least one of those defenseman AND Kesler for a massive package like that.

  • Roy Schue

    Green needs to be paired with a quicker and more talented version of Erskin

  • Begemot

    I love the guy’s hustle. He’s a nice mix of grit and some skill. Considering how often he was asked to move around and fill a spot (especially center, a new position for him), he did quite well. There’s value in being a utility player, but just imagine if the next coach could let him settle on a line and position.

  • JenniferH

    I like Eric Fehr.
    You like Eric Fehr.
    Everyone should like Eric Fehr.
    Why?
    Because Eric Fehr is like bacon.
    So says Peter Hassett.
    So says we all.

  • Bill Picard

    Please make an Eric Fehr = Bacon t-shirt. It too will be awesome!

  • Jonah

    The biggest problem for fehr and the rest of the caps is Troy Brouwer and mojo. Neither are the players they were before and I just don’t see their skating ability is really worth a top 6 role.
    I think the 2nd like this year should’ve been Grabo fehr erat while 3rd is perry ward chimmer. Don’t know who would play 2lw but Brouwer/mojo would be trade able for one.
    Another problem of Oates that makes me wanna smash my tv over my knee.

  • Semintheghost

    But we have to remember that Brouwer’s value is at an all time high and that Hillen is not worth much plus that he is injury prone. I would think even though they are rebuilding, VAN would want more offensive minded players since they have trouble scoring goals and have a good defensive core. They probably want Kuzy (who doesn’t?) , Andre B, Barber, Stephenson, Sanford, and Galiev. Galiev has been having some well documented struggles in the AHL, but he obviously has skill. I would prefer to hold on to him though. If we trade for Kessler, MJ90 is a lock to be in the trade.

  • Eric Schulz

    Galiev isn’t even a top-20 prospect for us right now; I wouldn’t have a problem with keeping him, but I’d have no problem throwing him into the package, and if I’m Vancouver’s GM, I’d want him thrown in (I wouldn’t hold up the trade for it, but neither would Wash’s GM, so…)
    Obviously they’d want Kuz Nasty, Burakovsky, and/or Barber, but I don’t think I’d be willing to trade any. The package I’m offering is more than fair; I highly doubt they get a better offer than that. It doesn’t matter that they’d want Kuznetsov or Burakovsky; what matters is if they could garner a better deal from another team. I would be more than shocked if they did.

  • Semintheghost

    Your right he is not. But he has the ability to be. Definitely not comfortable moving Kuzy, Andre B, and Barber. Those are the guys they would want though. Forward top 6 depth is not the biggest issue. Would like to see #20 moved for Emilin and a 1st or 2ed

  • Eric Schulz

    I’m not saying Galiev isn’t talented or anything… just making sure you were aware. He wouldn’t be a big part of the package, just a throw in. If I’m Canucks’ GM, I force him to be a throw in after adding the bigger names. (Brouwer, Johansson, Carrick, Sanford, 2015 1st are the big pieces of the package; Hillen, Kundratek, Galiev, Anderson help complete the deal, IMO. Prospects are so much of a gamble, if you have the chance to add a bunch of mid-tier ones, it becomes really hard to say “no”… pretty good chance one of those guys at least end up being an NHLer, you just don’t know which one.)
    That package should really get us both Kesler and Hamhuis/Edler/Bieksa, honestly. I don’t see how you turn it down if you are the Canucks. Maybe, dealing from a relative position of strength, they force another throw-in… but Latta, Brown, or Stephenson would be my final offer. I can’t imagine they get an offer anywhere near that good; I’m overpaying because I think we’re so close (or could be, with those 2).
    No, forward depth isn’t the area of need defense is, BUT:
    -We need center depth with Perreault gone
    -We need to get better at faceoffs
    -As much as we need to improve on defense, it’s not just the position; we really don’t have a lot of forwards that are a plus on defense, especially with Laich out
    If we had the chance to add a guy like Kesler to address those areas, I may even consider that OVER adding a defender, certainly in a trade. We have a few young defenders that I think may make that position, if not an area of strength, at least not such a weakness either. Between Alzner, Carlson, Green, Orlov, and Hillen, we have legit NHLers, even if we only have 3 top-4 guys, and not enough physicality… with Schmidt, Oleksy, Brouillette, and Strachan… we have depth (even if it’s depth because we have 9 legit NHLers, rather than 3 top-2 guys and 5 top-4 guys like the Blues do). With Orlov, Schmidt, Wey, and Bowey all being so young, I think we have a much improved defense. Our new coach, plus those 4 maturing, I think makes our defense MUCH better. I’d rather add Kesler to Backstrom and Grabovski, and just have ridiculous center depth. We could lose one and not miss a beat. Also, I think he’s more available than any defender that would be worth getting, outside of Vancouver.
    Also, I’d still look to add a defender (on top of Hamhuis/Edler/Bieksa) in FA… just a physical guy to pair with Orlov on the 3rd, so that even if Wey improves enough to warrant that spot, we’ll still keep Wey down in the AHL, and then have Wey in case of injuries. I’ve mentioned before that I think Meszaros is the best choice. If you think somebody else, w/e; some facsimile thereof.

  • Semintheghost

    I agree with pretty much everything you said. I would rather have Orpik than Meszaros though. Wey might turn out to be a 6/7 d and you are right when are D prospects develop, we will have a lot of defensive depth. Also would like to keep the 2015 1st pick if possible. Assuming that the Caps don’t’ win the SC.

  • Semintheghost

    #OrlovforNorris

  • Eric Schulz

    You’re the 2nd guy who mentioned Orpik; I didn’t think he was a FA this year. I know Meszaros will be, that’s why I mentioned him. I’d give Matt Greene and Scott Hannan a look too… there’s about 3 other FA D-men that I’d look at… I forget who they are though. But yeah, you get the idea.
    I think Wey will end up being a legit top-4 guy in his prime; I assume you mean 6/7 NEXT YEAR, right? Not his ceiling?
    This year’s pick is the 13th overall, the 2014 draft. I’d be fine giving up next year’s. If we are adding Kesler AND Hamhuis/Edler/Bieksa, then we’re going all in for the Cup (assuming, of course, we resign Grabovski and Penner; Penner makes Brouwer expendable. I also sign a cheap, veteran backup G, like Stalock, Greiss, or MacDonald, so that Grubauer can log more starts in AHL. I don’t want to have 2 young goalies AGAIN while gunning for the Cup. If Holtby got injured, we’d just be repeating the same mistake if Grubauer was forced to start; yet another rookie goalie on a team challenging for the Cup. No. If Holtby got injured and Grubauer outplayed Stalock – or whomever – then fine, but I don’t want to be out of options in case of injury). Even if we don’t win it, the pick is gonna be a low one; mid- to late-20s. Those aren’t nearly as valuable as people think. I mean, I’d keep it if we could, but it’s way more valuable in getting us those guys than it would be in the draft. We just need to be able to use that one so that we get to keep the 13 this year.

  • Semintheghost

    That all makes sense. It’s just that we have drafted well recently in the low 20s and that it is a deep draft. But if we are getting Kessler than that pick is automatically gone. Markov is also a FA.

  • RESmith

    “I think given 3 – 4 years Mojo would be a very good 2c and maybe a
    decent first line winger, not a wheel. He hasn’t been developed properly
    at all” Definitely agree with you there. Before his draft year, MaJo was scouted as more of a two way player but this organization has always tried to shoehorn him in as a top line scoring winger. I remember the Hockey News quoting scouts saying “He’s not strong at any one thing. His strength is that he isn’t weak in any area either.” In other words, with the exception of his speed, he doesn’t have elite skills, but is solid all-around and is meant to be more of a exceptional complimentary player than a star one.

    He has shown some flashes at times, but you are right, he doesn’t use his speed effectively and had the Caps allowed him to work his way up the lines and focus on his defensive play first, he may have established himself as a 2c by now.

  • RESmith

    Ok, so I know this is late, and will be unpopular opinion. It will even be a little inconsistent like Oates’ coaching decisions….

    But, much was made of Ovi’s resurgence under Oates, but I think he also should get some credit for helping turn Fehr’s game around as well. Remember, at the beginning of last season, Fehr was practically out of this league after being cast off of weak bottom tier Winnipeg team. Some of that had to do with recurring injuries, but even when healthy he never really established himself as the power forward that he was drafted as. He seemed to be guilty of trying to do too much and never really established an identity or role as a player. Even under Boudreau.

    But last year, it might have been Tim Hunter or it could have Oates, but someone recognized this and got Fehr to simplify his game and now he is arguably the Caps’ most consistent player and invaluable part of this team because he can be plugged in anywhere. Someone got him to play more north-south and not overhandle the puck. With the exception of Joel Ward, I don’t think there is no other player on this team that aggressively and consistently drives his lanes as much as Fehr does. But I guess that is what made the Oates’ era so vexing. On the hand, Oates was a coach that could recognize something in a player like Fehr to turn his game around but then turn around and under-utilize that same player because he didn’t fit into his coaching theories. Oates is the Norv Turner of hockey coaches: Brilliant as an assistant but in over his head as a head coach.

  • goph94

    F-16!