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Trade: Caps acquire Erat from Nashville for Forsberg

Apr 3, 2013, 5:04 PM EDT

Martin Erat Getty Images

The Washington Capitals provided the most suspenseful moments on Wednesday, announcing they’d acquired Nashville forward Martin Erat nearly two hours after the trade deadline had passed.

In exchange, Washington has sent Filip Forsberg — the club’s first-round pick (11th overall) at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft — to the Preds.

The Caps will also receive AHL forward Michael Latta in addition to Erat.

Erat, 31, has been a steady scorer for the Preds over the course of his 11-year career, all spent in Nashville. Last year, he recorded a career-high 58 points and currently sits tied for the team lead in scoring this season, with 21 points.

He has two years remaining on the seven-year, $31 million deal signed with the Preds in 2008. He has an average annual cap hit of $4.5 million, and waived his no-trade clause to join the Caps.

Update: According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, Erat asked for a trade out of Nashville and gave the organization a list of 10 teams where he was willing to move.

While a big pickup for Washington’s current roster — they add a talented player without subtracting anything — the move will likely cause some stir in Washington, as Forsberg was regarded as one of the organization’s best prospects.

He was NHL Central Scouting’s highest-rated European forward heading into the ’12 draft, and twice represented Team Sweden at the World Junior tournament.

At the ’13 tourney, he was named to the All-Star team after losing to Team USA in the gold medal game.

  1. bucrightoff - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    Was George McPhee drunk when he made this trade? Awful, awful trade by Washington.

    • jpelle82 - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      unbelieveable…if he was willing to trade forsberg…man he couldve went after anyone out there other than erat….holy crap. they basically traded a 1st rd draft pick for an injury prone bottom six forward past his prime and a 3rd rd prospect who has a whopping 20 something pts in 2 seasons in the ahl

      • lonespeed - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:49 PM

        Agree it is a terrible trade, but Erat isn’t a bottom 6 forward who is past his prime. In the short-term, it does make Washington a better team. Mortgaging the future though and probably could have done better.

      • jpelle82 - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:01 PM

        ok so maybe i’m being hard on him but he is 31, hurt a lot and has never put up more than 20 something goals in his career. he is playing 17-18 mins a game in his career which is borderline 2nd line for most teams, he probably hits those mins because he plays on nashville’s dormant pp unit…which i doubt he will do in washington. either way, hard to justify a grade A 1st rd prospect who was probably nhl ready next year

      • jpelle82 - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:23 PM

        and if the caps dont make the playoffs…geez imagine that scenario for mcphee after this move

      • blackfoot11 - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:33 AM

        You do know that the Caps drafted Tom Wilson, who is just as talented and productive a player five slots behind Forsburg to RW. He is will be NHL ready next year as well. Didn’t the Pens trade a top defensman prospect for in their trade with Dallas that would be NHL ready next year, and b/c they have other top d-man prospect and roster depth? How is this different?

  2. dipthatchip - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    beyond livid.

    unless the caps get to at least to the ECF, this is horrendous

    • jpelle82 - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:28 PM

      it will and should cost him his job if they dont make it past the 1st round

  3. govtminion - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    And the award for ‘biggest loser at the trade deadline’ is stolen at the last second by McPhee! Wow, this is a bad trade… hard to even comprehend what this is supposed to accomplish.

  4. ravenscaps48 - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    It looks like an awful trade right now. But we’ll just have to wait and see. Erat has over 400 points whilst playing for the most defensive team in the League over the least 10 years… Here’s to hoping that you throw him in with Ovie, Backstrom, and Ribs and he’ll flourish…. BUT FORSBERG???

    • jpelle82 - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:35 PM

      couldve gotten a lot more for forsberg, mcphee had plenty of time to work a deal for one of their best prospects…he couldve went after pominville, roy, or even the rebuilding flames couldve heard an offer on iginla if they wouldve sweetened it a bit. nuts man, he got owned on this trade.

  5. thecrabcakestate - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Wow. McPhee must not understand building through the draft after all. Actually, he must not understand…well anything. You don’t trade top prospects for an old third liner and a possible AHL pro.

    • capsphan - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:01 PM

      I’m not sure I like this trade, but Forsberg is hardly a sure thing. Besides draft day and the prospects camp he never even donned a Caps sweater, so let’s not make him out to be the next big thing yet. Despite his relatively-crappy season so far, Erat is typically a top-6 forward who shoots left handed, something that we need (or at least Adam Oates wants badly given his righty/lefty obsession).

      So far as not understanding building through the draft, let’s look at the current team:

      Fehr F (Caps 1st rd, #18 overall 2003)
      Ovechkin F (Caps 1st rd, #1 overall 2004)
      Schultz D (Caps 1st rd, #27 overall 2004)
      Green D (Caps 1st rd, #29 overall 2004)
      Backstron C (Caps 1st rd, #4 overall 2006)
      Neuvirth G (Caps 2nd rd, #34 overall 2006)
      Perreault F (Caps 6th rd, #177 overall 2006)
      Alzner D (Caps 1st rd, #4 overall 2007)
      Carlson D (Caps 1st rd, #27 overall 2008)
      Holtby G (Caps 4th rd, #93 overall 2008)
      Johanssen F (Caps 1st rd, #29 overall 2009)
      Orlov D (Caps 2nd rd, #55 overall 2009)
      Grubauer G (Caps 4th rd, #112 overall 2010)

      That’s 13 out of 29 on the current roster that McPhee has drafted and have stuck with the big club (ok, Grubauer is a bit early). That’s a pretty good core of guys built through the draft. True, we’ve been luckier with goalies and defensemen than we have with forwards, and heaven knows we have struck out at center since Backstrom, but to say McPhee doesn’t understand building through the draft is uninformed.

      • jpelle82 - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:11 PM

        fehr was a bust but i will give them credit for bringing him back for cheap and getting some kind of production from him…

      • rsl22 - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:17 PM

        Schultz and Perreault suck.

      • capsphan - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:24 PM

        I won’t argue Schultz. McPhee should have traded him when his stock was high instead of signing him to that 4-year deal.

        Matty P. doesn’t suck. He’s just not top-6 on a team that needs top-6 talent. We’re pretty deep on the bottom-6, so he’s good trade-bait for somebody that needs scoring depth on their bottom-6.

      • jpelle82 - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:21 PM

        so does mojo but he still has time

      • rsl22 - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:23 PM

        I like Mojo. He fits in well with OV and Backis. Fast, good hands, just needs to add some weight.

      • rsl22 - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:27 PM

        MP sucks. He’s a product of the Semin effect. Similar to Chimera.

        One good season with Semin making them look like all-stars. Sans Semin, look like AHL-ers, at best.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:34 PM

        Capsphan that was a great comment – compelling argument!

      • blackfoot11 - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:22 AM

        Agreed @Capsphan..The Caps still have an plenty of top prospects in their system. They need a top and 2nd line LW as Laich and Johansson are true centers playing LW. Erat is not a rental as he has 2 year left on his deal and Latta will be another LW addition to an already talent propect pool to develop in the AHL for the future. Could the Caps have gotten a better deal, sure. But the RW talent is stacked with Ovi, Brouwer, Fehr and rising prospect Tom Wilson who was drafted 5 slots behind Forsburg last year. They could depart with Forsburg due to the depth of talent at the RW.

  6. bmoreredfury311 - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    ……. why? i just don’t understand. I’m not a GM of a NHL hockey team, but BAD!

  7. rsl22 - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    1) The Caps may make the playoffs, but they are not Martin Erat away from the Cup.

    2) Forsberg was going to be an NHL-er next year.

    Why would a non-Cup team trade away a top line prospect for a 3rd liner and an AHL-er? That trade should seal GMGMs fate in hell.

  8. lordfletcher - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    You have to let the season play out but yeah… Forsberg, ouch

    -Wild fan

  9. gocaps8 - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    “Mr. Leonsis, I’ve got Brian Burke on line 1.”

  10. uscthom78 - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    So they flipped forsberg to the preds

  11. mp1113 - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Jesus I think this was a horrendous trade by the Caps. We had 2 of the best prospects and just traded one of them for a 31 year old. Don’t see this paying off at all GMGM

  12. bohman88 - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:19 PM


  13. alexbaymac - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Wow. I could GM a team better than that……but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

  14. thecrabcakestate - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    I mean….F@!$. I’m too angry to think right now. I just wish there was some way to understand but I don’t think there is.

  15. sportsfreak13 - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    I wonder if Nashville’s GM was laughing after he hung up in official trade call? I feel sorry for caps fans, because you guys seriously need a new GM. This guy is making Scott Howson and jay feaster look good.

  16. stangz11 - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Worst trade in NHL history

  17. jernster21 - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Wow, unreal. Everyone ripped the Avs for giving the Caps that 1st round pick to get Varlamov and GMGM just flushed it down the crapper. What a moron.

  18. rsl22 - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Is there way a to take a poll? Is there even one single person who thinks the Caps won this trade?

    • capsphan - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:31 PM

      I think the Caps paid a high price, but lefty top-6 forwards with years left on their contract aren’t cheap. If Forsberg turns out as good as everyone wants him to be it’ll end up looking like a lopsided trade, but it’s the job of the GM and the scouts to be right about talent, and if they felt like it was going to be too big of a jump for Forsberg from second-level Swedish league hockey to the AHL/NHL level next year or even 2013-2014, maybe it’s worth it.

      • capsphan - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:32 PM

        Obviously meant 2014-2015.

      • rsl22 - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:37 PM

        I mean, I was outraged when I read the details….

        I think I could be placated if the Caps bought out Schultz and Chimera at the end of the year and used that to lock up Ribeiro, Alzner, Neuvy, Mojo, and Fehr.

        Still have Wilson, Barber and Kuz. But they better be able to make the jump sooner rather than later.

  19. therealjr - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Well let’s see…everyone here who doesn’t know JACK about being a General Manager in this league thinks it’s a complete toilet flush. I guess I’m on board with McPhee then.

  20. vshehane - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    I have to say Erat hasn’t been really great for Nashville this year but he isn’t injury prone as stated earlier. he seemed to fall off after he signed his contract.

    • jpelle82 - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:19 PM

      he has never played a full nhl season…he is good for 65 games a year…not that it matters in this short season though right?

  21. capsphan - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    I wonder how many people carping about how old Erat is (age 31) are also clamoring for us to re-sign Ribiero (age 33)?

  22. bubblehead22 - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    Terrible trade for the Caps…

  23. rockthered1286 - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    Just saw this trade, then proceeded to accidentally teach my kids about 3 new 4 letter words…

    The good news is GMGM should be gone after this season.

  24. Stiller43 - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:14 PM


    But at least you didnt trade a young stud prospect for ribs, like GMGM did with a 31 yr old Erat.

    • capsphan - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:19 PM

      I don’t think McPhee is this smart, but hear me out on this.

      Nobody believed that Forsberg would slip to #11 in the draft. That we were able to get him there was a near-miracle, but I don’t believe that McPhee ever though Forsberg would be available. Wilson was the guy that McPhee wanted, and got. Forsberg was a bonus; trade-bait if McPhee ever needed to make a move (like he does right now to shore up the top-6).

      The pick was the one we got from Colorado for Varlamov. If we had straight-up traded Varly for Erat, is it still a bad deal?

      • jernster21 - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:42 PM

        You don’t trade a top prospect who, if he works out, and by all accounts likely will and has a shelf life of potentially 15-20 years in the league for someone who isn’t bad by any means, but isn’t “the missing piece” to push them toward a Stanley Cup run and has maybe 3-5 quality years left. In my opinion, the Caps missed their chance to win a cup in the last 3-5 years. You also have to figure that the Capitals are going to be competitive for the foreseeable future – they aren’t going to get near top 10 picks as a result – the pick they got from the Avs was a GOLD MINE and he pissed it away. It’s one thing if the kid is simply a bust after getting an opportunity, but he never even got a chance. Poile just got rid of a player that didn’t want to be on his team for a potential franchise player.

  25. capsrockva - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    At least it wasn’t Ribiero, a horrible trade netherless

  26. scionofflame - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    Calling all cars, calling all cars…APB out for David Poile of the Nashville Predators. Wanted for assault and theft!

    While I agree it’s an awful trade, I think you’ll see Erat pick up pretty massively for the Capitals if he’s playing with more skilled forwards.

    Also, thanks for Forsberg. Maybe the second one works out better for us.

  27. cspsrbums - Apr 3, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    The caps really haven’t had problems scoring lately, but we can’t seem to stop others from scoring a lot on us either. So why do we trade a top prospect for a 31 year old forward. We needed a quality defender with some tuffness. One that can pick up for Green Defensive mistakes, while Green has Offensive help ,He is a liability playing D if he isn’t hurt. Yes we played 12 defenders this year but how many are top quality. Defense is the only position that would help this club make or advance in the playoffs. GMGM you are a bum horrible trade

  28. operwapitsai - Apr 3, 2013 at 8:10 PM


  29. hines86for6 - Apr 3, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    I’m a Preds fan and will miss Marty, but I’m ecstatic about this trade. We aren’t winning anything this year or next so we don’t really need Marty.

    I will say this though: I’ve always wondered what Marty could do as a set up man for a team with some real offensive firepower. Keep in mind he put up 60 pts last year playing on the top lone with Mike Fisher and Sergei Kostitsyn.

    I guess we’ll find out how good he can really be now. I wish him the best.

  30. bcjim - Apr 3, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    Wow. Lot of misinformation, disinformation, and piling on GMGM based on what people “think” they know.

    1. Forsberg is a *prospect* not the next Gretzky. As you recall, he fell in their lap after dropping in the draft. There was probably a reason he dropped. There was also a reason GMGM felt this was a good deal. People talk like they have seen Forsberg play 100 games. Most have seen ZERO.

    2. Erat is a proven NHL top 6 winger. Period. Not a prospect. He is also exactly the kind of disciplined, responsible top 6 player the Caps need.

    3. M. Perrault is a decent player. Is he better than 19 or Ribeiro? No, but he is decent backup 2C/solid 3C.

    • bethgoesglobal - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:02 PM

      I agree with you 100%. We have no way of really knowing what Forsberg will become and the fact that the Caps landed him was pure luck. I also like Erat and think he could fit in well.
      However, I don’t think the Caps will make it to the Cup finals. As much I dislike them, the Pens have done everything they can to buy themselves the cup this year. I’m hoping that plan will blow up in their face but…
      I would say this was a risky trade, and that if they were willing to part with Forsberg they should have gone after a better player (Pominville, Iginla…) or asked for a little more from the Preds in return (maybe a 1-2 round pick this year).

      Unfortunately this is one of those trades that only time will tell who really “won” this one.

  31. uscthom78 - Apr 3, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    e rat requested a trade out of nashville.

  32. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    I remember being incredibly pissed after we passed on Forsberg for Koekkoek and then saw him go to the Caps with the very next pick.

    Needless to say I’m still annoyed with our decision, but VERY happy to see that Forsberg won’t be a Capital going forward(I know they won’t be in our division going forward, but old habits and rivalries die hard).

  33. gocaps8 - Apr 4, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    David Poile: Architect of the best (Langway) and now worst (Forsberg) trades in Caps history. Since we have nothing else to raise a banner for, why not this?

  34. jagrbomb18 - Apr 4, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    Lol caps “fans” talking about hockey…what a joke you all are…without ovechkin yous wouldn’t even know what hockey is….

    • obnoxiousDCfan - Apr 4, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      “yous”? Sounds to me like you don’t even know what grammar is.

  35. broadstbully33 - Apr 4, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    Forseberg was worth a lot mor then Erat. They could have easily got a much better player for him. This was a move to make a move for caps and it was a terrible decision Erat is good but when u are offering a top prospect with huge huge potential you have to go for gold and the caps did not do that.

  36. cb7435 - Apr 4, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    i dont see why so many people are down on this trade? the caps just got a 50pt guy with great speed which will force the dmen to respect his speed allowing for more room for 8-19 to do their thing. yes, the caps gave up a good PROSPECT…everyone in the 1st round is great prospect but does that mean they are a consistent 50 point guy like erat? No. people seem to be forgetting about latta in this trade as well…22g, 41a, 284pims in 121 games. Seems like a guy with some serious grit that will go along great with wilson when they are both up. do people remember that divisions are changing soon? no longer will the caps be able to dipsy doodle around teams like carolina and tampa…they are now entering a division with some tough teams and need to act accordingly…caps dont need another slick moving swede prospect that will disappear come crunch time when the likes of nyr, pens, philly come to town with their bruisers

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