Connor Carrick rushes the puck up ice (Photo credit: Francois Laplante/HHOF-IIHF Images)
World Juniors semifinalists were determined on Thursday. Washington Capitals prospects combined for three points. Riley Barber had one assist to his name, while Andre Burakovsky recorded a pair of helpers.
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.
Speaking with Czech news agency iDNES.cz and translated by our friend Lindsey Novak, Erat expresses dissatisfaction with the ice time he’s getting in Washington and seems eager to move on.
The Capitals don’t intend to tinker with their lines just yet, while the rest of the league seems dedicated to making Caps fans miserable. It’s been a four-day break in which players are still getting paid, but everyone still seems as grumpy as a non-essential government worker.
The Filip Forsberg/Martin Erat trade still elicits strong reactions from Caps fans. (Like I’m warning you now, you’re going to want to bring a hatchet into the comments below because this one’s gonna get gory.)
Adam Oates has put Erat — George McPhee’s 32-year-old, $4.5 million toy — on the fourth line where he averages under 8 minutes a game. For Caps fans already unhappy with the trade, Erat’s modest utilization had them grinding their teeth.
After Tuesday night, those fans are gonna need a mouthguard. Maybe dentures. Forsberg scored the first goal of his NHL career, a snap shot on the power play, during Nashville’s 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild. Congrats, kid.
Filip Forsbergspoke to Swedish paper Expressen in the wake of his trade from the Capitals to the Nashville Predators. In an article by Gunnar Nordström and Adam Eriksson, Forsberg describes his reaction:
“It happened suddenly, I didn’t know anything about it until I read it. I spoke to my agent just now and he said it really went quickly, but that’s what happens in this world. All I can do is accept it.”
When I got home from work tonight, I ate my feelings in homemade Hawaiian pizza (thanks, Ashley). I’m bummed about the Erat/Forsberg trade. As much as I love this team, I worry they are just not that great, getting older, and not actually improving along with their win-loss record. I hoped the Caps would flip some guys in the final years of their contracts for picks and prospects, but instead George McPhee did the opposite: trading part of the Caps’ future, Filip Forsberg, for Martin Erat, a 31-year-old left wing who is 249th in goal scoring and has a cap hit of $4.5 million. The team is better now, but I don’t know about their future.
It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who is ambivalent. A few minutes after the trade was announced, Forsberg’s Wikipedia page was defaced. Like five times.
Many people, including us, think that is a bad idea. Erat, while a top-six forward, is aging and well compensated. The Caps are now on the hook for his $4.5 million yearly salary for the next two seasons, with a salary cap that is going down by six million next year. He’s scored just four goals this year.
Washington, it seems, wants to win now. If they don’t — and remember it’s a toss-up and whether they’ll even make the playoffs — this trade will have been a bad idea. George McPhee, therefore, has some explaining to do. He did that Wednesday evening.
“I wasn’t going to sell,” McPhee told Monumental Network. “I wasn’t going to attempt to sell anything. We would add if we could and I think we added a real good piece.”
Wednesday’s trade deadline was pretty tame for the Washington Capitals until a few minutes after 3 PM, when we heard Mike Vogel that the team had “something brewing.”
Then… about two hours of speculating and waiting. The Capitals were “incredibly mum” according to Bob McKenzie. The Caps Report video special with Alan May, Mike Vogel, and John Walton went into extra innings– vamping to fill time until the news broke. George McPhee declined to name the trade until all involved players were named.
Those players turned out to be Martin Erat, a 31-year old RW lefty from Nashville, and Caps prospect Filip Forsberg. Nashville threw in Michael Latta as well.