The Capitals on Wednesday acquired forwards Martin Erat and Michael Latta from the Predators in exchange for top forward prospect Filip Forsberg.
The move was announced nearly two hours after the official 3 p.m. trade deadline.
Erat, 31, has spent his entire 11-year career with the Predators, scoring 163 goals and adding 318 assists in 723 career games, which all rank second in franchise history. He has four goals and 17 assists in 36 games and should immediately jump into the Capitals’ top six, likely on the left wing. He has two years remaining on his current contract with an annual salary cap hit of $4.5 million.
“I was so excited for the opportunity to play for a Stanley Cup,” Erat said. “I’m getting older, and it’s not going to be like, I have seven, eight years to wait for another chance.”
As for Latta, he has nine goals and 35 points for AHL Milwaukee.
Capitals general manager George McPhee said he was told Tuesday that Erat wanted to come to Washington and waived his no-movement clause to do so.
Erat said he asked for a trade a couple weeks ago after being told that Nashville was looking to get younger. The Capitals were one of 10 teams that he agreed to join.
“We like the player a lot,” McPhee said of Erat. “He’s a real good veteran player. Terrific speed, good sense, plays the game right. Real committed on and off the ice.”
Forsberg was Washington’s top draft pick (11th overall) in the 2012 NHL draft and figured to be a integral part of the Caps’ future plans, but a logjam on the right side and a focus on helping the team now and in the future made him expendable.
“With respect to giving up young players, you have to be careful doing that, but we’ve drafted well enough that we can do it,” McPhee said. “I wanted to help this team now.”