Slapshots (column): Not a good move by McPhee

April 4, 2013

The Washington Capitals have a history of anti-climactic trade deadlines.

 

But this year was different for all the wrong reasons.

 

At the 2013 deadline, Washington traded Swedish prospect Filip Forsberg to the Nashville Predators for forwards Martin Erat and Michael Latta.

 

It’s not a bad trade on paper, but after even basic analysis, this is a terrible idea.

 

First of all, Latta is an AHL-level player. And Erat, he’s a right wing with four goals and 17 assists so far this season and minus-7 rating.

 

Erat is under contract through the 2015-16 season, but at 4.5 million cap hit a year, he isn’t the cheapest player. And at 31 years old, he’s out of his prime.

 

While he’s a veteran and has playoff experience, along with no Stanley Cups, the only real advantage of having Erat on the team is that now Marcus Johansson can get off the first line.

 

But I digress.

 

To get Erat and Latta the Caps traded one of their best prospects.

 

Forsberg, who has been playing in his native Sweden, has proved himself at least AHL ready.

 

At the 2013 World Junior Championship, Forsberg captained Team Sweden and scored three goals and two assists in the tournament. He was named one of the three best players for Sweden and one of t

 

he media’s all stars.

 

With Leksands IF, his Swedish team this season, Forsberg has 8 goals and nine assists, along with a plus-3 rating, in 48 games played. Now while his stats aren’t overly impressive, it’s his play on the ice that does all the talking for him.

 

Forsberg has the quick hands of an experienced forward and could stick handle around Nicklas Backstrom in a heartbeat.

 

Unfortunately, Caps fans won’t ever get to see it because General Manager George McPhee just traded him away for basically nothing.

 

The purpose of trades is for teams to be able to stock up on players so they can make a viable playoff or Stanley Cup run.

 

Look at Pittsburgh. The Penguins acquired Jerome Iginla, Douglas Murray and Brenden Murray, just to name a few.

 

There’s no question that the Penguins are looking for another Cup. But the Caps are a completely different story.

 

Right now, Washington isn’t even in the playoffs. So the team just traded away one of the most promising future team members for a possible trip to the 2013 playoffs.

 

This trade makes absolutely no sense, and beyond that, is just plain stupid.

 

Why would you trade away your future for a chance to get smashed by archrival Pittsburgh in the first round of the playoffs?

 

Maybe I’m wrong, I sure hope I am, but right now there’s no indication that this was a good idea.

 

More photos of Filip Forsberg

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