Things don’t appear to be getting any better between the Capitals and Martin Erat.
Erat, demoted to fourth-line duty through the first three games of the season, has already voiced his displeasure about how he’s being utilized in Washington’s offense.
Now, the trade talks have begun.
CSN Washington’s Chuck Gormley asked Erat if he’s considered the possibility of asking out of Washington, to which the Czech forward replied “no, not yet.”
“I know what I can do,” Erat continued. “We’ll see what happens.”
It’s a fairly cryptic response from a guy that isn’t happy, isn’t trying to hide the fact and — oh yeah! — has a history with demanding trades, having forced his way out of Nashville.
Erat told CSN he’s spoken to head coach Adam Oates about his role, but it doesn’t seem as though anything’s on the verge of changing, meaning Erat could find himself averaging around eight minutes a game (down from the 18:55 he averaged for Nashville last season) for the foreseeable future.
Further complicating matters is Erat’s contract status. He has two seasons left on a seven-year, $31.5 million deal that carries an average annual cap hit of $4.5 million.
Any potential deal — and remember, Erat’s on record saying he hasn’t contemplated a trade request yet — would seemingly be tough to pull off, considering Erat turns 33 next year, and it’s safe to say teams wouldn’t be enamored by the prospect of adding a 33-year-old fourth-liner eating up nearly $5 million in cap space.
In a related story, the player Nashville got in exchange for Erat, Filip Forsberg, scored his first-ever NHL goal in his season debut on Tuesday night.