The Capitals traded Martin Erat for Chris Brown (pictured) and Rostislav Klesla. Photo courtesy of the Phoenix Coyotes
The Capitals traded Martin Erat for Chris Brown (pictured) and Rostislav Klesla. Photo courtesy of the Phoenix Coyotes

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.