The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded veteran center Eric Fehr to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a 2020 seventh-round pick. Fehr had been playing for the San Diego Gulls of the AHL, loaned away earlier this year after being buried in the minor leagues.
Fehr, 32, had found something of a career resurgence in San Diego, scoring 28 points in 34 games. His $2MM cap hit was prohibitive to him playing in Toronto, despite the Maple Leafs looking for another fourth-line center option. Now heading to San Jose, Fehr will provide some veteran depth for a club looking to get back to the playoffs. Fehr won a Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins two years ago, and has played in 60 playoff contests throughout his career.
For the Maple Leafs, this sheds another contract and gives them more financial flexibility at the deadline. Since the team was in long-term injured reserve salary exemption, moving Fehr’s deal actually opens up quite a bit more room for them at the deadline. CapFriendly reports that Toronto can now add up almost $6.5MM in cap hit, making them potential players in nearly everyone on the market. That contract spot is also important for the club, as they had been at 49 of a possible 50 since trading Nikita Soshnikov.
Fehr had cleared waivers twice in the last 12 months, but his contract stopped any team from taking a chance on him. Now just a few months away from free agency, the Sharks can afford to add him to their books and will still have the flexibility of keeping him in the minor leagues should they want to. A seventh-round pick—while relatively little for the Sharks—is a nice return for the Maple Leafs, who obviously had no plans for the veteran forward.
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