Last week, I wrote about possible trade candidates for the Washington Capitals. I had no idea that things would heat up this soon. As I mentioned in that article, Martin Erat has been quite vocal about his frustration regarding his role, or lack thereof, with the Washington Capitals. On Saturday, Martin Erat was a healthy scratch against the Maple Leafs. Today, the boiling point has been reached: Erat has officially requested a trade from the Capitals.
In 32 games, Erat had 1 goal and 8 assists for 9 points. Last season, in a move that shocked many, the Capitals obtained Erat and Michael Latta from the Nashville Predators in exchange for the first of their two 2012 first round draft picks Filip Forsberg. The other first round pick? Tom Wilson. Conversely, in 17 games with the Predators, Forsberg has 1 goal and 5 assists for 6 points.
My opinion of the Forsberg-Erat and Latta trade at the time was that it was a very idiotic move. The core of the Capitals was (and still is) getting older. They need young guys like Forsberg for two reasons: depth and, to be blunt, they’re cheap. I stand by that opinion today. Forsberg has just 3 less points with the Predators in 17 games as Erat has with the Capitals in 32. The only saving grace from that trade is that the Capitals got Latta. That said, if I had a choice between Forsberg and Latta, I’d choose Forsberg every day and twice on Sundays.
Here’s what Martin Erat had to say earlier today.
“Yes, I want to be traded and see how it goes… Since day one, I didn’t get the chance here. I got traded here to be a top-six player, but never got the chance, never played more than 15 minutes in here, and it’s time for me to move on.”
I don’t blame Erat one bit. He deserves more ice time than what he has gotten with the Capitals. Here’s what general manager George McPhee had to say about Erat.
“Marty doesn’t feel like he fits in here… We’ve always told our players, and our policy for 15 years or so, that if you don’t feel like you fit in, if you feel like it’d be better for your career to be someplace else, let us know and we’ll try to accomodate you… He doesn’t for whatever reason feel like he fits in here, so we’ll try to accomodate him.”
Erat’s salary for this season is $3,750,000. His salary for next season is $2,250,000. His cap hit is $4,500,000. That will make him rather difficult to trade.
Based on cap space alone (many factors at play), eight teams have room for Erat’s $4.5 million hit: NSH, EDM, BUF, OTT, CAL, NYI, COL, FLA.
— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) November 25, 2013
Of those teams, Colorado is the only team in playoff contention. I think Colorado would be a good fit for Erat. They have a great core nucleus of younger guys, but they need a guy like Erat.