Photo credit: Derek Leung/Getty Images
That didn’t take long: forward Martin Erat, acquired from Nashville at the 2013 trade deadline along with Michael Latta in exchange for top Capitals prospect Filip Forsberg, now says he wants to leave Washington.
According to the article, Erat arrived in DC with enthusiasm, but after just six months his intentions have changed:
“I want to get out of here as soon as possible.”
The article says Erat does not agree with Adam Oates’ coaching philosophy, saying that Oates gives Ovechkin every opportunity while Erat has to sit in the stands:
“It bothers me, and I hope it works out. I don’t think I’ll stay here very long and hopefully I will get an opportunity with another team.”
The article states Erat would like to try his luck with a stronger team that has a shot at the Stanley Cup and that he has become disenchanted with the Caps:
“I get no time on the ice, it’s hard to prove my ability with only ten to twelve minutes of ice time. At the beginning of the season it was only about seven minutes, and then it went up, so [Oates] let me play more defense than offense”.
The article says Erat is worried his circumstance will hurt his chances of getting into the Olympics. Czech National Team coach Alois Hadamczik is quoted as saying Erat has about “an 80% chance” of an Olympic spot considering their history together. Erat brushes off concerns about the Olympics:
“It’s not that important, although I focus on it I try to play the best hockey I can and everything else will come with time.”
The article says Erat’s agent is working on getting him out of Washington. Erat on the possibility of a trade:
“Yes, we’ve talked about it. Hopefully something will happen and I’ll be out of here as soon as possible.”
Erat confirmed that he has requested a trade on Monday morning.
Martin Erat confirmed he has asked to be traded, feels like he never had an opportunity with #Caps
— Katie Carrera (@kcarrera) November 25, 2013
When Neil Greenberg defended the Forsberg-Erat trade in April, he called Erat a “a legitimate top-six forward.” While Erat’s on-ice play has backed that up, his usage by Adam Oates has not.
Martin Erat ranks 10th in ice time among Capitals forwards, making him a de facto fourth liner. In that time, Erat has tilted the ice better than the team does without him, posting the third best possession numbers among forwards on the team. But Erat has only 6 points on the season, all assists, and his ability to drive play has not resulted in goals yet.
Erat was a healthy scratch for Saturday night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but Adam Oates implied Erat would be back soon, telling the Washington Post, “Marty’s been fighting it a little bit, in my mind. Sometimes when you sit up top you get a fresh perspective.”
The Capitals did not run normal lines on Monday morning, so there’s no indication if Erat will be returning to active play yet.
UPDATE: Martin Erat’s agent confirmed the trade request via text message:
Martin Erat's agent confirms that they have requested a trade.
— RMNB (@russianmachine) November 25, 2013
Translation by Lindsey Novak. Additional reporting by Peter Hassett.