Photo: Jared Wickerham
During the summer, Eric Fehr left the organization that drafted him in 2003 for its biggest rival.
“I knew that come free agency day, when [the Penguins] came calling, I knew there was going to be, not necessarily an uproar, but I knew that Caps fans would be upset about it,” Fehr said recently to The Washington Post’s Mark Giannotto. “But at the end of the day, it was a good opportunity for me. It was a good fit, and I was excited about the team that was here having played against them for as many years as I did. Knowing how good they are, I wanted to be a part of that.”
And in the end, the move paid off. Fehr is now a Stanley Cup champion for the first time in his career. The Winkler, Manitoba native will get a championship ring and have his name immortalized on the Stanley Cup forever.
The Penguins defeated the Sharks in six games to win its fourth Stanley Cup and its first since the 2008-09 season. Pittsburgh won 16 of 24 games in the playoffs, riding fantastic goaltending from rookie Matt Murray. Sidney Crosby also scored three-game winning goals and summer acquisition Phil Kessel was nearly a point-per-game player.
Fehr, who won the Calder Cup with the Hershey Bears in 2005-06, was also a big part of the Penguins success.
Fehr tallied eight goals and six assists in 55 games during an injury-plagued regular season, but broke out, at times, during the playoffs. Fehr scored several clutch goals, including the game-winning goal in Game Two of the Caps-Pens’ second round series and an insurance tally in Game Four of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Throughout the year, Fehr often thought about his former team as they raced to a President’s Trophy as the league’s best team. A showdown against Washington would be required to achieve something he dreamed about as a child.
“I kind of saw this coming,” Fehr said ahead of the Caps-Pens series. “I knew if we wanted a chance to win the Cup, it was going to have to go through Washington.”
It did. And Fehr got the upper hand. This time.
Popular former Caps farmhand Steve Oleksy was also a part of the Penguins’ Stanley Cup-wining team as a Black Ace. So was former Capitals defenseman Sergei Gonchar who was hired by the Penguins as a defensemen development coach in October after failing to make the club on a tryout contract in training camp.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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