On trade deadline day last season (April 3), general manager David Poile was able to make a trade that would help the future of the club. Poile traded veteran winger Martin Erat and prospect Michael Latta to the Washington Capitals for a top Swedish prospect named Filip Forsberg. “It felt good today," said Poile after the trade, "and I know it will feel good in the future.”
At the time, the experts were giving the Nashville Predators the win in the deal for acquiring a player that would do wonders for them offensively in the future. In the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Washington selected him eleventh overall. The thinking behind the deal for Washington was to add depth for a deep Stanley Cup run. Unfortunately for the Capitals, their plan did not work. Now, let's fast forward to now…
The decision on who is winning in the deal has not changed, albeit it's coming from a biased point-of-view. Right now under Caps' head coach Adam Oates, Martin Erat is having trouble acquiring ice time. The thirty-two-year-old sits on the fourth line behind Troy Brouwer, Jason Chimera and Eric Fehr — in no particular order. So far through three games, Erat is scoreless and average around near 7:30 of ice time. No doubt, this wasn't what Erat was expecting and he may ask to be moved yet again. When CSN Washington's Chuck Gormley asked if he’s considered requesting a trade, Erat replied, "No, not yet."
Erat's production is not matching his worth and he's making a dent in their payroll, so a move is coming.
Michael Latta, the other player involved in the deal, played the season opener for the Capitals, but was assigned to play for their American Hockey League affiliate Hershey Bears.
Let's take a look at what the Predators received…
Tuesday night, Filip Forsberg scored the first of many goals in his NHL career. The nineteen-year-old was ecstatic to score his first NHL goal in front of the hometown crowd and, most importantly, his parents. "As a goal scorer, you always want to score," said Forsberg after the game. "Now that I have the first one, I need to keep going to get the second and third one."
Forsberg's insatiable attitude was exactly what head coach Barry Trotz was seeking, instead of a player like Erat who would prefer to be elsewhere in his quest for the cup. Trotz said Forsberg has been humble since the time he has landed in Nashville and hasn't felt like he's been entitled to anything. “You could argue that Filip may have been our best forward in camp," said Trotz. "[He's] earned the right to play."
It's certain that by the time the anniversary of this trade rolls around, the true winner of this deal will be exposed. But as for now, Poile has pulled a robbery from the Capitals' organization.
(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)