First-year Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan was a loyal lieutenant to former GM George McPhee before taking over the big job. So he was there when the team (now) infamously traded away Filip Forsberg to the Nashville Predators for Martin Erat and Michael Latta.
Erat is no longer with the team, Latta is a lower-lineup player and Forsberg is on his way to the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year.
Team executives are not usually willing to admit errors when it comes to players that are still in the league. Since MacLellan wasn’t the guy that gave the executive order on pulling the trigger on that deal, perhaps he was a little more willing to openly muse about the trade.
Here’s what MacLellan had to say about that trade Tuesday according to Adam Vignan of NHL.com:
“I think [Forsberg] has played well. Obviously he’s one of the leading candidates for the Calder Trophy. If you’re asking if I would like to do a do-over? Yeah, sure.”
Forsberg was the 11th overall pick of the Capitals in 2012. Back then, he was considered a steal since many projections had him as an easy top-five pick. That’s what made it so stunning when the Capitals turned around and traded Forsberg the following season
Forsberg was still playing for Leksands in the Swedish league and doing quite well for an 18-year-old, when the Caps dealt him.
Erat’s Capitals career was rather forgettable. He had just three points down the stretch after the trade, and went pointless in four playoff games. The following year, he scored one goal and had 23 assists before being traded to the Coyotes, where he has remained.
Meanwhile, after nearly a full season in the American Hockey League, Forsberg is the leading scorer for the Predators with 39 points in 44 games as he has helped lead the team to the top of the Central Division. He might even be surpassing his draft expectations at this point.
The Caps could use a little scoring depth as they prepare for a playoff run this season. A 20-year-old center with 15 goals probably would have been pretty nice right about now.