Caps Trade Fehr to Winnipeg to Clear Cap Room

July 08, 2011 | Ed Frankovic

Fresh off this week’s signing of recently acquired winger Troy Brouwer to a two year, $2.35 per season deal, Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee has traded right wing Eric Fehr to the Winnipeg Jets for a 2012 4th round draft pick and minor league forward Danick Paquette (played in ECHL in 2010-11). Fehr, who is recovering from off-season shoulder surgery and has battled injuries throughout much of his career since being drafted in the first round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft (18th overall), was slated to make $2.2M in 2011-12. Given the minimal return in the trade, it is clear that this deal was largely about clearing room to get Washington under the salary cap.

The 2011-12 NHL salary cap is set at $64.3M per team. Using the individual player information from the Capitals now have 22 players on contract for a total of $63,905,128. This includes the $233,333 that is on the books for this season for the Tyler Sloan buyout (the same number will be applied to the Washington salary cap total in 2012-13). However, that does not include restricted free agent defensemen Karl Alzner, who is still yet to re-sign with the Caps. If you assume that defenesemen Tom Poti and his $2.875M salary will not count due to either his retirement or being placed on long term injured reserve (LTIR), then that puts Washington at $61,030,128, which would be $3,269,872 below the salary cap with King Karl still to sign. Given that I expect #27 to garner at least $3M per season, this will have the Caps right up against or slightly over the salary cap once his contract situation gets finalized. Teams are allowed to carry 10% over the salary cap limit until the first game of the regular season giving McPhee time to make other moves, if necessary. Note, however, that the capgeek numbers are not official and McPhee and assistant GM Don Fishman are the ones that possess the exact salary cap figures for each player.

Notes: The Capitals will host Caps Development Camp next week at Kettler IcePlex starting Monday, July 11th and ending with Fan Fest and a scrimmage on Saturday, July 16th. All on ice activities are open to the public and the full schedule and roster can be found here at Confirmed attendees are top prospects forward Cody Eakin (2009 3rd round pick) and defensemen Dmitri Orlov (2009 2nd round pick). 2010 first round selection Evgeny Kuznetsov, who attended last summer and was arguably the best player on the ice, will not be present next week…Below is the full press release from the Caps on the Fehr trade:

The Washington Capitals acquired a fourth-round draft pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and right wing Danick Paquette from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for right wing Eric Fehr, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today.

Paquette, 20, recorded 20 points (13 goals, seven assists) and 179 penalty minutes in 59 games with the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL last season. The 6’1”, 210-pound forward helped the Lewiston MAINEiacs win the QMJHL championship in 2007 and collected 175 points (94 goals, 81 assists) and 691 penalty minutes in 251 career QMJHL games with Lewiston and Quebec. He was originally drafted by the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise in the third round (64th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.