A few hours after acquiring Dustin Penner from the Anaheim Ducks, the Washington Capitals made another move. They traded Martin Erat and forward John Mitchell to the Phoenix Coyotes for left-handed defenseman Rostislav Klesla, center/forward Chris Brown, and a fourth round pick. Though a lot of people think Erat was a bum, that was not the case. I called the Erat-Forsberg trade a terrible trade, and it wound up being a terrible trade. The reason that it was terrible was not the reason that I thought it was terrible. Erat was actually a pretty good player. Despite his lack of minutes, he was second on the Capitals in even strength assists and played very good defense. He just never got a real chance to prove himself as a top 6 forward. All that said, Erat had very little trade value and the fact that George McPhee managed to get a legitimate defenseman for him cannot be denied.
Here’s what you need to know about Rostislav Klesla:
- He’s 6’3″ and 223 pounds
- He’ll be a UFA after this season and has a cap hit of $2,975,000
- He’s basically a John Erskine who isn’t completely worthless.
- He will, for some odd reason, report to the Hershey Bears.
I like this trade for several reasons. First off, George McPhee managed to potentially upgrade at defense while trading someone who had minimal trade value. Secondly, I like Chris Brown as a prospect. Could be a solid third line or fourth line center for the Capitals. Thirdly, this move creates enough cap space for Kuznetsov.
I have a gut feeling this won’t be the end of the moves. The trade deadline is today at 4 PM.