On April 3, 2013, the Washington Capitals made a trade that they thought would put them over-the-top in the playoffs.
The Capitals led by then vice president and general manager George McPhee traded 2012 first-round pick Filip Forsberg to the Nashville Predators for Martin Erat and Michael Latta.
“You talk about all those things,” McPhee said then. “They’re never easy decisions. It takes some guts to do deals sometime. We have a real good group of pro scouts and amateur scouts. You sift through it, ruminate over it at night, you come back in, talk about it some more, and the vote was unanimous to do it. I make them vote independently without any influence. Write it out, put it on a piece of paper, and then I read through [their responses]. It was unanimous to do it.”
The trade is arguably the worst deal in Capitals history. And five years later, on the anniversary of the deal, the Nashville Predators took a playful victory lap on Twitter.
Too bad this didn't work out… 🤷♂️ https://t.co/2vPTt2Wknb
— x-Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) April 3, 2018
— x-Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) April 3, 2013
The tweet has gotten nearly 500 RT’s and 2,500 likes as of 4PM Tuesday.
Since the swap happened in 2013, we’ve learned that Predators general manager David Poile tried to talk Martin Erat out of his trade demand before the deal with Washington happened.
“He comes up to my room and says: ‘I need a change, I don’t think we’re going to win here,”’ Poile said. “As a manager, you never want to hear that from anybody. I tried to talk him out of that for basically two or three weeks before I even made a phone call, or what have you, and he said ‘No, I’ve got to get out.’
“So we weren’t going anywhere that year and he had a no-trade contract, and to make it worse he only gave me a few teams.”
Forsberg has since blossomed into a top-line forward and turned into of the best young goal-scorers in the game, tallying 252 points in 328 career games. Forsberg’s accumulated two 30-goal seasons over the last three years and has scored 23-plus goals four-straight years. The Predators made the Stanley Cup Final last season.
Meanwhile, Martin Erat scored two goals as a member of the Caps organization and asked for a trade the very next year in 2014. Michael Latta was entertaining and basically a legend to the Capitals fanbase, but he scored only four goals in 113 career NHL games.
Earlier during the 2017-18 season, Forsberg scored his sixth career goal in seven career games against the Capitals. That equaled the same amount of goals Martin Erat and Michael Latta scored in their Caps careers combined.
P.S. – Neither Erat or Latta are in the NHL anymore.
— cara (@carabahniuk) April 3, 2018
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