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Martin Erat was injured in only his second game with the Washington Capitals, and has not played since.
Well, well, well. Look what trade I get to talk about again.
I addressed the Filip Forsberg for Martin Erat and Michael Latta trade once already, when reassessing the Capitals' season outlook after the trade deadline. To put it mildly, I was not happy with the decision. Neither was fellow Capitals Featured Columnist Dave Ungar, who wrote: "Living in California, I could hear the groans of the Caps' faithful all the way across the country—and for good reason."
Even Pierre LeBrun of ESPN—in an article stating that the deal was good for both the Capitals and Predators—had to admit that "judging by social media, Caps fans were none too pleased with seeing the young Swedish center shipped out for Erat and prospect Michael Latta."
And opponents of the deal received little consolation as the full story came to light, courtesy of Pierre LeBrun:
And yes, perhaps GM George McPhee could have gotten more had he waited until the summer to shop Forsberg fully to the league. You see, I believe the Caps were going to trade Forsberg at some point no matter what, internally souring on the prospect, a player they no longer viewed as a top center in the making. Scouts I’ve spoken with have mixed opinions. Some still view him as a top center in the making, at least a No. 2, but others are concerned by his foot speed. The latter is what concerned Washington. We shall see who has the last word here. Forsberg may make the Caps rue the day they dealt him to Nashville.
Then, Erat was injured. In only his second game with the Capitals, Erat took a dirty hit from behind, delivered by Erik Gudbranson of the Florida Panthers, and injured his knee on the play during Saturday night's game. Katie Carrera of The Washington Post tweeted the gory details:
Erat missed Sunday's game against Tampa Bay, and did not play Tuesday night in Montreal. Each day that Erat is out of the lineup weakens McPhee's justification for dealing Forsberg. If Erat were to miss the postseason entirely, that justification would collapse entirely, at least until next season. And then McPhee would have a long offseason of answering the same question over and over: "WTF???!!!" ("Why trade Forsberg???!!!")
I can think of only one other transaction that haunted a hockey team more than this transaction may haunt the Capitals: when the Mustangs cut Racki in the beginning of Youngblood.
One major difference: Racki is fictional; Filip Forsberg is not.