A Short Timeline of Capitals Players Requesting Trades


Photo: Greg Fiume

Two thousand thirteen has been a year of reinvigoration for the Capitals. After a dreary start to the lockout-shortened season, the team began a Cinderella-story rally in March that carried the team into the playoffs and their captain into another MVP trophy. But the last few months have revealed a Capitals team that is not uniformly happy with their spots on the team. While new coach Adam Oates has made his stars happy, a number of lower-tiered players have grown discontent. Three players have requested trades in the last six weeks.

November 25th, Martin Erat

We found a Czech-language interview with Martin Erat a few days before Thanksgiving. We published our translation before morning practice wrapped up. Less than an hour later we had word directly from Martin Erat and his agent that he wanted out of Washington. “I want to get out of here as soon as possible” is how Marty put it, translated from the Czech.

Understandable. Erat went from playing 18-19 minutes a night in Nashville to under 14 minutes in DC, where he was basically babysitting the fourth line. By the end of November he was a steady scratch. But then Brooks Laich re-aggravated his groin and Erat returned to active service. Erat has been making the Caps’ third line (Chimera-Erat-Ward) a dynamic force ever since, but word is he still would like to be moved.

It’s unlikely an Erat trade would bring a first-round draft pick or its equivalent in return. It seems the post script on the Forsberg-Erat trade is coming, and it may not be a happy one for Washington’s front office.

November 27th, Dmitry Orlov

Dmitry Orlov had bounced up and down from Hershey to DC for two months without seeing a single game of NHL action. We were in the dark as to what was going on until The Washington Post’s Katie Carrera revealed that the Caps were attempting to satisfy an escape clause in Orlov’s contract that would allow him to leave for the KHL if he didn’t spend a month on the NHL payroll.

Speaking with RMNB, Orlov expressed a measure of relief regarding his numerous re-assignments. “I know I am going to get to play hockey,” Orlov said, “which is what I love to do.” The Caps seemed to be going through the motions– bring Orlov down for a few days and sending him back up without ever intending to play him– until Orlov’s agent told CSN’s Charles Gormley that he had requested a trade.

Orlov played three days later, the same game in which Erat returned, and hasn’t left the lineup since. He scored his first goal this season on December 15th and has steady possession numbers considering the team’s general trouble in that measure.

Orlov has since modified his agent’s trade “demand.” He’s apparently happy to stay under the following, reasonable condition: “If I play here, yeah.” Adding, “All the guys are good.”

December 29th, Michal Neuvirth

Michal Neuvirth has been a Washington Capital his whole career, longer than any other goalie, since relieving Jose Theodore and Semyon Varlamov in early 2009. Neuvirth has been a steady but unspectacular presence on the ice in his 128 games, sporting a slightly below average .910 save percentage, though that’s not a mature sample.

He backstopped the Capitals through their final unsuccessful playoff campaign under Bruce Boudreau in 2010-11 with a .912.

But Neuvirth has also suffered repeated injuries. Neuvirth injured his leg in April of 2012 after a strong season. He lost his most recent chance to start after stepping on puck in late November of this year. Neuvy has not played since November 22nd, and with Philipp Grubauer now as the current golden boy in the goal, there don’t seem to be any upcoming opportunities for Michal to play.

All of this must come as something of a surprise for the Czech goalie, who told the press back in 2012 that Braden Holtby was his “weakest competition yet.” Pierre LeBrun spoke with Neuvirth’s agent on Sunday night and reported that he would like a “fresh start” somewhere else.

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  • Sweedish Meatballs


  • Chris Cerullo

    Lol Patrik Stefan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1Z9UspUHqg


  • Jack Conness

    Adios Neuvy!

  • Ben Reed

    Hard to attribute this one to Oates. Neuvirth’s injury forced Grubauer into the lineup, and Grubi’s hot hand has prolonged his stay.

    Also, Neuvirth kind of sucks, while Erat and Orlov do not.

  • Bob

    Do whatever it takes to keep Dima, everyone else who doesnt want to be here, good riddance

  • Dark Stranger

    Neuvy had once been our #1 goalie — for 2011-2012 season, so he doesn’t suck. But since then, it’s been one injury after another for him. Admittedly, he has not been as good as Holtby/Grub lately

  • Brackaphobia

    He would be missed, but I don’t think Grubi is a fluke. I know the sample size is strong but so is his net presence IMO.

    If Erat still wants out, I wonder what we could get for an Erat-Neuvirth package?

  • A_Shoe

    Hopefully someone that keeps John Erskine far, far away from the lineup.

  • H70

    Goodbye Neuvy! There isn’t enough room on the bench for your big head!

  • Matt

    What teams are looking for a goalie? I don’t mind Neuvy leaving if it is for the right price.

  • dylan wheatley

    adam oates is pissing me off

  • Red

    Haha. That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Michael Neuvirth, you should be embarrassed for what you just did! Requesting a trade. How dare you! That does not belong in the NHL.

  • Christoffer Salo Salomonsson

    Erat sucks really bad, 4,5$ and 0 goals.. 3bad turnovers in his own end just last night.. och absolute nothing in offense.. just let him go, or at least dont let him play..

  • Shaun Phillips

    Unfortunately, with the way the lineups have been mismanaged, Neuvy and Erat’s trade values are somewhere around 0. Not sure who even needs a goalie right now (maybe Edmonton?). A few months ago, there was a huge need for goalies with everyone’s starters going down injured. Most of those teams found serviceable backups within their organization and now most of those injured starters are coming back (LA, Florida, Nashville, Columbus).

  • Derek Eklund

    I thought he was pretty solid when he was #1.

  • Shaun Phillips

    And you do realize he’s been stuck on the 4th line or in the pressbox for the majority of the season? Getting 10-12 minutes a game with scrubs/rookies isn’t going to lead to many scoring opportunities. We saw a bit of what he was capable of when he was with Mojo and Nicky while Ovi was out. Would love to see Mojo and Erat switch spots in the lineup, although both of lines have looked pretty good lately (outside of the turnovers last night).

  • Christoffer Salo Salomonsson

    i do.. so i can take the lack of offensive.. BUT the D-zone dangerous turnovers, he does at least 1/game..

    and i do realize that my judgement may be a bit clouded, still wish they had forsberg.. =)

  • Chelsea Winot

    It’s starting to seem like more players are trying to abandon ship. I hope this isn’t becoming an epidemic, because some players simply aren’t getting the chances they should be getting.

  • Fedor

    I think the Caps are in the middle of some pretty radical roster change. They’re cutting the deadweight. It’s only natural.

  • Shaun Phillips

    Agreed. Thought it was a short-sighted, “win now” move that would bite the caps in the arse. Unfortunately, the caps do have to “win now” in the next 3-5 years or their window of Ovi+Nicky primetime is going to close.

  • riggorules

    Going public with a trade request only hurts your value and makes it far more unlikely that your club will find a decent deal.

  • BazingaBrad

    This is a *professional* sports team right?? All of these trade reqests are just getting pathetic. You are getting paid to play a sport so your job is to do what’s best for the team, not whine about how much playing time you are getting. I can understand Orlov’s request and since he’s gotten more time he is happy here but Erat and Neuvy need to SUCK IT UP or go whine somewhere else. If they want to get more playing time then step it up at practice and when you get an opportunity go prove yourself. Erat had time on a line with Ovie and Backstrom and still has 0 goals, he only has himself to blame for that. If you look at cup winning teams like Chicago or (unfortunately) Pittsburgh, every player knows their role that most benefits the TEAM not themselves. We need players like that, not ones who whine after not playing enough for their liking.

  • Marky Narc

    So…. Erat, Neuvirth, Orlov, Barber, Burakovsky, Kuznetsov, three first round draft picks and $15 million to Philly for Eric Lindros? Amidoinitrite?

  • Erskine FanBoy

    Big John Erskine is a Bad ass who is a physical, mean presence. Does he screw up occasionally? Is he kind of slow? Sure… But what watch you say about BJE. He’s a boss.

  • Ben Reed

    Eh, he was the #1 by default more so than by earning it. He has had 4+ years to earn it but hasn’t.

    He has a below average .910 career save percentage on 3400 shots. He is who he is at this point.

  • KK

    I think its somewhat unfair for you to bring back up, with a hotlink, supposed comments of Neuvy’s that you had to admit at the time were questionably translated. Few people are going to take the time to link through to the original article and then to the attached clarification. They’re just going to read the line in this current context and think “what a jerk”.

  • The article contains a link to the clarification. Subsequent to that, I hired a translation firm to verify our work, which they did. Our translation was flawless.

    If you ask me, I think it’s somewhat ignoble of Michal Neuvirth to not have apologized for dragging my name, my organization’s name, and our original translator’s name through the mud in a feeble effort to deflect deserved criticism for his own words.

    What a jerk, indeed.

  • bskillet

    Would be a blessing if we could get anything worth mentioning for Erat, put him with Laich??? Orlov will stay as he should and I really think it will be a mistake to let Neuvirth go?

  • Dolemite

    More importantly lets find a way to get rid of mike “sweet feet” green. his GAME (been) OVER for the past three seasons…

  • KK

    Well, none of this extra info you provide is available on that main article link or the clarification note, its all left fairly nebulous. If such a concrete determination on meaning was finally and properly made, then I’d probably then join you on your assessment.

  • Yes, a concrete determination was finally and properly made, so I welcome you in joining me in my assessment.

    It’s linked to from the bottom of the article. Here it is: http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2012/08/30/the-neuvirth-translation-verification-and-attribution/

    The only thing nebulous was the “seed of doubt” Neuvy attempted to plant to wiggle out of what he said.

  • KK

    I will join you on that assessment, then. Would be good though to add that link up top of the original article as an “Update 2” or something, since it’s pretty buried and these archived articles will likely come back around as hotlinks in future articles. I think we’ll be discussing Neuvy for a while ahead.