At last season's trade deadine, the Washington Capitals paid a pretty price to get Martin Erat from the Nashville Predators, parting with top prospect Filip Forsberg. It seemed like a tough trade then for Washington and it's not looking much better now.
Erat hasn't found much success in Washington after requesting and getting a trade out of Nashville. In nine games last season he had only one goal and two assists while his time on ice per game was five minutes less than it had been in Nashville. He then had no points in the playoffs and now this season he has no points while his time has dipped again, down to just 7:59 per game in the first three games.
Because the Capitals got healthy at the wing position, Erat has been bumped down to the fourth line of all places, leading to such little ice time. He's behind Alex Ovechkin, Brooks Laich and Jason Chimera at right wing and there doesn't seem to be a lot of potential there to move up sans more injuries. The 32-year-old is unlikely to get anywhere near 20 goals at this pace, a level he has been around for most of his career.
Naturally, it has Erat wondering about his future, as he told Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington.
Erat said he has spoken with Capitals coach Adam Oates but is not sure what his future holds.
"I know what I can do," Erat said. "We'll see what happens."
Asked if he's considered requesting a trade, Erat replied, "No, not yet."
It's probably looking too much into what was just a simple answer, but it's hard not to notice that "not yet" thrown at the end of his answer about a trade request. Perhaps he'll change his mind of he remains on the fourth line moving forward.