Erat to McPhee: “I want to get out of here as soon as possible”
It hasn’t even been a full year yet and Martin Erat’s time in Washington is all but up.
After being acquired from the Nashville Predators with center Michael Latta, the 32-year old Czech winger went public to the media about his displeasure with his time with the Capitals and asked General Manager George McPhee for a trade; but this request wasn’t just a simple “hey I’d like to be traded,” but more along the lines of actor Yvon Barrette’s character Denis Lemieux in the greatest hockey movie of all time Slap Shot: “Trade me right f***ing now!”
Needless to say when the trade went down at the trade deadline, I myself, along with many other fans that rock the red and of hockey in general, wondered why McPhee would give up a top-flight prospect in Filip Forsberg (the 11th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft) for a 31-year old winger and a young fourth-line center? The problem wasn’t acquiring who he acquired,but what he gave up for it. As of right now (November 25th) Filip Forsberg is in the NHL with the Predators and has 5 points in 12 games with a +/- rating of -8, Latta has been back and forth between the Capitals and the AHL’s Hershey Bears and scored his first NHL goal last weekend against the Red Wings, while Erat is the blue ribbon loser in this trade with 6 points in 23 games and 13:00 of ice time on average a night.
Here’s the problem Martin; you’ve requested two trades in less than a year, you’re not producing, and you’re making 4.5 million dollars a year, which is WAY too much for a guy who’s not putting up his usual 50 points a season. You really think that with all these factors put into play some team is just going to jump out and yell “HEY We want that guy!” do you? You’re sadly mistaken Martin!
Capitals Beat writer Adam Vignan did take to Twitter and let his followers and fans know McPhee’s side of the story:
McPhee: “Marty doesn’t feel like he fits in here. … If you don’t feel like you fit in, we’ll try to accommodate you.” #Caps
— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) November 25, 2013
This reminds me of that scene in Aaron Sorkin’s A Few Good Men where Jack Nicholson is sitting with Kiefer Sutherland and the late J.T. Walsh and Nicholson is talking about one of his Marines not wanting to be transferred off the base. Well in this situation McPhee is Nicholson and Erat is Private Santiago (who if you haven’t seen is killed at the beginning of the movie). McPhee, unlike Nicholson, has no leverage in this situation. Since it seems like Erat isn’t happy “…down here in Shangrala” and will more than likely either have to eat this 4.5 million dollars or trade him for lesser value to make him happy.
If the guy doesn’t wanna play here, move him! He’s unhappy with his playing time (or lack their of he says), but honestly when you’ve got guys like Aaron Volpatti and Jay Beagle who both are alternating healthy scratches who are playing better than the Czech veteran and 191st pick in the 1999 NHL Draft, it’s a no brainer to play them over Erat. Besides Erat is getting 13 minutes a night, which is anywhere between 3rd and 4th line minutes, but if he thinks he’s going to get 2nd line minutes with only 6 assists and no goals he’s got another thing coming.
If I were in McPhee’s shoes, I’d call this a loss, accept the fact that Erat is a bum, that Latta will be one of the only good things to come out of this trade, and that Forsberg may come back and bite me in the ass one day. Then I’d find some poor schmuck of a GM who’d take Martin Erat for whatever cost, be it draft pick and lower-end prospect or just a pick; the point is, get rid of this guy before he poisons our locker room.
Goodbye Martin Erat, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.