This is strictly a minor-league deal, though with Ondrej Pavelec’s injury it did necessitate Peter Mannino being recalled for tomorrow evening’s game against the Canadiens.
Brett Festerling was an undrafted signee by the Anaheim Ducks in 2005 after performing well in their rookie camp as an invitee. He’s 6’1", and at 208 lbs. is another in the Dudley mold of big, tough defensemen. If Freddy Meyer is out for the remainder of the season and the Thrashers need to cycle through one more back-up defenseman, in Festerling they at least have one with over 80 games experience in the NHL.
Hockey’s Future.com rates him at a 6.0 B in their prospect ratings. They don’t have him pegged as a scorer, but rather as a competent passer who will make the right play.
Analysis via Ben Wright of the Blueland Blog:
Festerling is a 24-year-old former Duck with 83 games of NHL experience. He’s been in the AHL for all but one game of this season and adds some nice size on the back end at 6-1, 210 lbs. He has eight assists and 33 PIMs in his 83 NHL games and has four assists in 16 games with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs this season.
…The Festerling acquisition gives the Wolves (presumably) another defensemen. They’ve only had six available lately so this gives them some depth and flexibility, and he has NHL experience if a callup is needed. With six pro goalies in the organization there was room to move one and the end result will be more quality ice time for Chris Carrozzi and Ed Pasquale.