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Erat: Limited role with Caps ‘very frustrating’

Oct 2, 2013, 3:59 PM EDT

MartinErat Getty Images

It took all of one game for a playing time issue to unfold in Washington.

Martin Erat, acquired at last year’s trade deadline for Filip Forsberg, expressed disappointment with his role in the Capitals offense after playing just 9:01 in Tuesday’s season-opening loss to Chicago.

“It’s very frustrating. I don’t know what to think about it. It’s hard, I have no idea what’s happening,” Erat told the Washington Post. “If you played 11 years in the league, I don’t think you lose your position in three or four games in the preseason. I don’t know.”

Erat, 32, has struggled to find his niche in Washington. Knee and elbow injuries limited him to just nine regular season and four playoff games last year; the acquisition of Mikhail Grabovski and return to health of Brooks Laich have further clouded the issue as there’s a logjam for minutes at forward.

That said, it’s clear head coach Adam Oates isn’t quite sure what he has in Erat.

He moved the Czech forward all over the place during training camp, giving him skates at both center and wing on a number of different lines. Erat was also routinely playing alongside Mathieu Perreault, who was dealt to Anaheim last week.

A veteran of over 700 NHL contests, Erat said he’s willing to sacrifice for the betterment of the club, but acknowledged he needs to sort things out with Oates.

“I’m going to do what’s best for the team,” he explained. “Like I’m not going to decide I need to go and scream somewhere. It’s between me and [Oates], and we’ll see how it goes.”

  1. govtminion - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    “It’s between me and [Oates], and we’ll see how it goes.”

    …Which is why you’re complaining to reporters before speaking to the coach. Got it. Between you and the coach, and a few million hockey fans.

    • gekkoguy82 - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:29 PM

      I don’t think many Preds fans were unhappy to see him go.

  2. eggserino - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    I actually kinda feel bad for Erat, in a way. He comes from a defensive-minded team as a scoring line winger. He moves to an offensive team, where there is great offensive talent. Sure seems like they want to slot him in as a third line scoring winger with second unit power play time.

    Going from playing top minutes and first line power play time to third line minutes and second line power play? OUCH!

    That said, don’t talk to the media, dude! I know that there was only one guy in Tennessee covering your old team, but geez!

  3. eggserino - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Erat sure would look good in Minnesota, New Jersey (never happen), or even Detroit down the road…

  4. sjtorpitt - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    He should be 2nd line with Grabo and Brouwer.

  5. natlbnkilr - Oct 2, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!! – Preds Fan

  6. tfaltin - Oct 2, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Who will get more minutes this year, Forsberg or Erat?

  7. esracerx46 - Oct 2, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Perhaps having “no idea whats happening” has something to do with your lack of icetime.

  8. sampulls - Oct 2, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    Crybaby.

  9. tdrusher225 - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    I can’t believe McPhee gave up Forsberg for this guy

  10. storminator16 - Oct 3, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    Erat sounds like a player who needs to come to grips with his skill set. His actions the past 7 months just make him come off as a bit of a whiner.

  11. watermelon1 - Oct 3, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    Here’s an idea… Let erat take green or Carlson’s spot on the ice. They aren’t playing any defense, so maybe erat can do better.

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