Three cheers for Martin Erat!
The Nashville Predators announced this weekend the smooth-skating Czech forward will serve as the team’s alternate captain for the 2013 season. Erat joins captain Shea Weber and alternate captain Mike Fisher in the team’s leadership corps, replacing the departed Ryan Suter. Erat previously filled in as alternate captain for Fisher and Suter during times of injury.
In my opinion, the honor couldn’t have gone to a more deserving player. Martin Erat has played with the Nashville Predators for his entire 687-game NHL career; along with David Legwand, the now-31-year-old Erat is the deepest tie this current incarnation of the Predators has to the franchise’s earliest winning seasons. He has proven to be one of Nashville’s most reliable offensive threats as the team has watched other, more-hyped players come and go. And though he’s known for his slick skating and , he’s also bigger than he plays and can use his frame quite effectively from time to time. He’s a prototypical Nashville Predators player and I’m happy to see his service and dedication rewarded with the “A.”
The 2011-12 season was yet another solid one from our favorite Czech, as he posted 19 goals and 39 assists for a team-leading total of 58 points. Two of those points came on one of the most memorable days of his life as he picked up a goal and an assist in a 6-2 win against San Jose on the same day his first son, Sebastian, was born. Erat posted multiple points in a single game 17 times during the 2011-12 season, including a two-goal performance against the Toronto Maple Leafs in November.
On another note: this news is going to make my wife very happy. Martin Erat has been her favorite player since his earliest days with the club, which is why one of the two autographed Preds sticks in our house is an Erat – she picked it out when we got our half-season tickets prior to the 04-05 lockout.