Leafs have waived Eric Fehr.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) October 23, 2017
Leafs Place Eric Fehr On Waivers
At A Glance
The move comes eight games into the season. Fehr and veteran Dominic Moore had alternated games up to this point. Through four games, Fehr was the only Leaf who failed to record a point thus far (Per Hockey Reference).
Where the Leafs will miss Fehr most will likely be on the Penalty Kill. Fehr ranked third in ice time on the penalty kill, behind only defensemen Ron Hainsey and Nikita Zaitsev, who have been stapled to both penalty killing units in the early going. On the Penalty Kill, Fehr was actually a positive possession player, with a 0.6% Relative Corsi.
What This Means
In a nutshell, the battle between Fehr and Dominic Moore for the fourth line center position has been resolved. Assuming he remains with the organization, Fehr remains a valuable asset to the Leafs’ depth at center. Injuries occur, after all. In the interim, he brings value to the Toronto Marlies as a veteran presence for their youth.
Assuming Fehr clears, it is not guaranteed that he would report directly to the Marlies. The CBA allows teams to assign players to the AHL up to 30 days after clearing waivers without having to pass through again (Per Cap Friendly). The Leafs might potentially wish to keep him with the big club, with that option in their back pocket.
However, if the Leafs intend to call somebody up, they would send Fehr down. This move could allow for the team to get another look at preseason standout Miro Aaltonen. Aaltonen has appeared in six games with the Marlins this season, tallying two assists. (Per HockeyDb)
Furthermore, teams looking for added depth at center or help on the Penalty Kill might benefit from taking a flyer on Fehr. It’s worth noting that Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee has a previous relationship with Fehr dating back to their time with the Washington Capitals.
Main Photo: TORONTO, ON – MARCH 20: Toronto Maple Leafs Center Eric Fehr (23) in warmups prior to the regular season NHL game between the Boston Bruins and Toronto maple Leafs on March 20, 2017 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, ON. (Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)