The winds of change

What I alluded to, in the previous post, was the trade of Filip Forsberg for Martin Erat (from the Predators. As a side note, I am always amused by his last name because it means (in Latin) 'he was' and because David Eddings had a character pose as the Duchess of Erat in his book, Pawn of Prophecy).

Man, that was a mess, yesterday. They were supposed to announce it at 1530, half an hour after the deadline passed. But that didn't happen, and the announcement didn't end up being made until 1700. Very irritating, although apparently the problem is that they weren't able to find one of the players (presumably Erat; I doubt Forsberg would have been a priority, being overseas in a different league) to tell him before the announcement.

Anyway, we did, eventually, find out that it was Erat and a so-so prospect (Latta; supposedly a decent center with a lot less upside than Forsberg).

There's certainly something to like about the deal; Erat is a good left wing on a reasonable contract who does a good job of driving play. And, considering the offensive system he's been playing in, a pretty decent scorer as well.

But I'm not a big fan of the deal because a) this team is a bit old already, and a 31-yo Erat isn't helping that. b) His contract is perfectly decent, but will make it more difficult to re-sign Ribeiro next year. c) I was really looking forward to seeing Forsberg over here. And finally (and most damningly), this very much feels like a 'Hail Mary' pass, in that the odds of the Caps making noise in the playoffs seem very slim.

Unquestionably, this makes the team better this year (and probably next). It does improve the odds of the Caps both making, and making noise in, the playoffs (although not much for either; we're only talking about thirteen more games). But it's quite a long-shot. RMNB had an article yesterday or the day before, dissecting a McPhee interview, questioning whether he believed what he was saying. Well, this trade certainly proves that he believed it.

I'll keep my fingers crossed, but I'm not feeling very good about the deal, and it would take at least an ECF appearance to change my mind (along with re-signing Ribeiro to a non-crippling extension).

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