Photo credit: Hannah Foslien
When George McPhee traded 19-year-old Filip Forsberg for Martin Erat last year, the Washington Capitals acquired a 32-year-old veteran who should have fit in nicely with their top-six. This season however, Erat — who has a $4.5 million cap hit — plays under ten minutes a night on the team’s fourth line. With the surprise signing of Mikhail Grabovski during the offseason and Tom Wilson’s great play during the preseason, the Caps had to shed salary ahead of their season opener to make room for The Ten Train. So they dumped Mathieu Perreault to the Anaheim Ducks for a fourth round pick and an AHL player.
As I said that day, moving Perreault was curious considering the team’s lack of depth at center and his success over the last three seasons. And through two games this season, he has been — gulp — Anaheim’s best player.
Saturday night against the Minnesota Wild, Perreault scored his first point (an assist) and first goal as a Duck. His goal was the overtime game-winner.
First, Perreault collected a primary assist with a sick pass from behind the net to Jakob Silfverberg.
In overtime, Perreault scored with a nifty backhand move on a breakaway. There were five seconds left in the game. Clutch.
It’s really, really early in the season, but Perreault so far has more points (2) than Tom Wilson and Martin Erat combined (0).
Maybe GMGM made a mistake.