As I wrote yesterday, forward Martin Erat has requested a trade from the Washington Capitals. General Manager George McPhee stated that he has yet to consider taking on some of Martin Erat’s salary to facilitate a trade. That will make Martin Erat rather difficult to trade, as not too many teams could take on his salary or be willing to. Who would trade for a guy who has forced his way out of two cities in under a year?
I think I know a team that would. The Vancouver Canucks. They have another contract that they would simply love to get rid of. Like the Capitals, the Canucks have a disgruntled forward who wants more playing time, but just isn’t getting it. Neither of the contracts involved in the trade are horrible, and it would give both guys a chance to play in systems where their skills would be better suited.
David Booth ($4,250,000 cap hit, contract is up after 2014-2015 season)
I think that trade would work well for both teams. I think David Booth is a horrible fit in Vancouver. The Canucks have always played a physical, two-way style of hockey, and that is not where Booth’s skills are best suited. Booth is more suited in a more open style of offense, which is precisely what the Capitals run. Meanwhile, Erat is a physical, two-way player who would be a perfect fit for the Canucks. Erat would probably see second line minutes in Vancouver, or at least have a far more stable role. Booth could easily be a top 6 forward with the Capitals and would benefit from playing with more skilled players. I’m not denying that this is a pretty risky trade, but I can’t imagine the Capitals are going to find a team to take on Erat’s salary without wanting the Capitals to take on one of their bad contracts. The only bad thing about this trade is that it doesn’t create much cap space. Here’s a picture of the forward lines with David Booth:
Another trade that might work involves the only playoff contender with a ton of cap space: the Colorado Avalanche. They have money, so why not use it?
Elliott has a ton of upside, so I think this deal would work well for Washington. Plus it would clear up cap space so the Capitals could bring Kuznetsov to the NHL in the spring and have some flexibility as far as making moves. This deal would leave the Capitals with $4,923,355 of cap space.
Which of these two deals would you prefer? Would you prefer to get a player back who might help now or get salary cap relief? There are strong arguments for both sides. Let me know!