With reports swirling about Ryan Kesler and Martin St. Louis demanding to be moved out of Vancouver and Tampa Bay, Caps forward Martin Erat is reminding people of his long-standing desire to be dealt.
Erat, 32, who just returned to Washington after representing the Czech Republic in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, said Wednesday he still wants the Capitals to trade him but declined to elaborate further.
The timing of this makes sense. Erat didn’t exactly have a boatload of suitors when he first made the demand back in November and probably has even fewer now, given trade front developments at the forward position (Kesler, St. Louis, Thomas Vanek rejecting the Islanders’ extension offer, the likelihood Mike Cammalleri goes to market, etc. etc.)
So, perhaps a gentle reminder will kickstart things a bit. Or maybe Erat was just responding to a reporter’s query. Whatever the case, it’s back out there!
As for what teams are potentially acquiring: Erat has one goal and 21 assists in 51 games this year, with two years left on his deal at $4.5 million per. His lack of production has been a running theme but is slightly overblown and exacerbated by the paltry goal total — he’s actually tied with Mikhail Grabovksi for the fourth-most assists on the team, and has six points in his last eight games.
Caps GM George McPhee said he’s willing to move Erat by the deadline.
“If he still wants to be traded, we’ll try to accommodate it,” McPhee said. “It’s been a difficult year with transactions. had this been a typical year, we might have been able to move him within weeks of his request but that wasn’t the case this year.”