Martin Erat

Trade: Caps acquire Erat from Nashville for Forsberg


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.

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.