Nashville Predators Acquire Filip Forsberg From Washington Capitals For Martin Erat And Michael Latta (UPDATED X5)

This is still a developing story, but it appears the Nashville Predators have traded forwards Martin Erat and Michael Latta to the Washington Capitals in exchange for forward Filip Forsberg. This comes from ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun on Twitter:

Former Nashville Predators forward Martin Erat

Martin Erat has played with Nashville for his entire NHL career. (PHOTO: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports)

Washington gets Martin Erat, who had a no-movement clause in his contract but has waived it in order to join the Capitals. Along for the ride is Michael Latta, who has played the last two seasons with the Milwaukee Admirals.

The Nashville Predators get Filip Forsberg. The highest-rated European forward in the 2012 NHL draft, Washington picked the 6’1” Forsberg in the first round, 11th overall. He captained Sweden’s World Junior Championship squad this year and has 33 points in 38 games for Leksands IF in the Swedish Allsvenskan, that country’s second-tier professional league. Last year he was voted the best forward at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships.

This is a huge moment for the Nashville Predators, who have been seeking an offensively skilled forward for a long time. Forsberg should fill that role nicely. It also marks the first point of departure from the core that has taken the Predators from an expansion also-ran into a perennial playoff contender. Martin Erat has been with Nashville his entire career and has been there for every step forward the franchise has ever taken.

A prolonged slump this season aside, Erat has been one of the franchise’s most valuable players for a very long time. I’m genuinely sad to see him go because of all the time he’s spent with the team. I’m also excited to see how the team will develop with Filip Forsberg in the fold.

UPDATE 1: It appears that Erat was the one who asked for the trade, according to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet:

UPDATE 2: Here’s the official word on the trade from the Nashville Predators:

“With one of the best goaltenders in the world in Pekka Rinne, and the top defenseman in the game today in Shea Weber, along with Roman Josi, Kevin Klein and other young defensemen we continue to develop, we believe we are well positioned at these two positions, but have lacked a dynamic offensive forward.” Poile said. “In Filip Forsberg, we are adding one of the top rated young forwards in the world; we are excited to have him join our other emerging young talent and solid veterans at the position.”

“We have used draft picks in recent years to add players at the trade deadline. Over the last several years, we traded away four first round picks. It was imperative that we add a potentially dynamic offensive forward such as Forsberg. Our goal remains the same—to win the Stanley Cup. We believe our current team is a playoff caliber team. At the same time, we have to be mindful of the long-term and this deal allows us to acquire a top-end young offensive forward that will help us.”

UPDATE 3: At least one member of the hockey media has some harsh words for Martin Erat:

 UPDATE 4: More from Poile on Erat requesting the trade:

“It is always difficult to trade a player who was drafted, developed and who has produced for the franchise for many years such as Martin Erat, however, Marty came to us in recent days and indicated a trade might be in his best interests. Thus, the process began and we were able to explore options with our primary goal being to acquire a young top end forward that would address our most critical need. We thank Martin for all his contributions to the Predators’ success over the years and wish him and his family the best in Washington.”

UPDATE 5: Josh Cooper at the Tennessean talked with Martin Erat, who had this to say about requesting a trade:

Erat said he asked Poile “what the long-term plan was for Nashville and where the organization was going to go, and in the last two weeks I came to this … and I gave David 10 teams, and approached him with if I could be traded. They’re going to go with a younger team and see how it goes from there. But for me, I’m getting older, and it’s not going to be like … I don’t have seven to eight years to wait for another chance.”

Topics: Filip Forsberg, Martin Erat, Michael Latta, Nashville Predators, Trade, Washington Capitals

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