Expect this man to rock the red soon! Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Acquire Martin Erat, Among Others

I have always taken solace in the fact that General Manager George McPhee (or, as he shall henceforth be known, GMGM) is a conservative general manager. He does not panic and pull the trigger on ridiculous deals during a losing streak, he doesn’t allow himself to be bullied, and he doesn’t buckle under pressure.

He has continued this tendency in his general management on this season’s Trade Deadline. More or less.
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The first move was acquiring Joel Rechlicz (F) from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for Matthew Clackson (F), which was a surprise in the sense that I hadn’t realized we dealt him to Phoenix in the first place. “I suppose our forwards have been fairly healthy!” was the underlying current of my thoughts, if I noticed his name quit appearing in the “Joel Rechlicz assigned/recalled to/from Hershey” news sidebar on the Capitals website. I suspect he will be used as frequently and in the same manner as he was before we traded him (the first time).

After that we traded Garrett Stafford (F) to Edmonton for Dane Byers (D). I’ve never heard of the new guy (and only have heard of the first because I try to make it to rookie camp), but he has 1G and 60 PIM in 14 NHL games, so I reckon he’ll stay down there in Hershey.

Then, at the last second, the Capitals acquired Martin Erat and Michael Latta from the Nashville Predators in exchange for Filip Forsberg.

Hold on there just a second.

Filip “11th Overall Pick” Forsberg? That Filip Forsberg? Top prospect Filip Forsberg?

Martin Erat is a good player who has not had a particularly fruitful year (4-17-21 in 36GP) and he’s got 2 more years at $4.5 million left on his contract. Interestingly, he apparently asked for a trade, and he had to waive his no-movement clause to come to DC. He’s one of the best players in the (albeit short) Predator’s history, but it’s not a stretch to say he’s in the decline of his career.

‘Mortgaging our future’ is a pretty strong term but I’m going to toss it out anyway. Was this really the best decision? It’s a known quantity vs. future uncertainty kind of gamble, but I’m willing to write this season off as a loss. This wasn’t a playoff run rental trade. Is Erat intended to replace a lackluster forward? Even with his cap hit there’s still some room to work with, but this team hasn’t impressed me, and it’s not one I’m terribly excited about for the future. Maybe Erat will inject some life into them, but I was excited about having another talented young Swede in our future.

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Tags: Dane Byers Filip Forsberg Joel Rechlicz Martin Erat Michael Latta

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