The Filip Forsberg Trade Was Not As Bad As It Could’ve Been

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Posted February 24, 2017

Forsberg before he was traded (Caps Outsider)

A few years ago, the Washington Capitals traded prospect Filip Forsberg to the Nashville Predators for veteran Martin Erat and a young Michael Latta.

Considering Forsberg is flourishing as a Predator, and Erat was a bust with the Caps (while Latta was let go), Nashville won the trade and the Caps are without a player who had two hat tricks in the last two games he played.

Yet, if it weren’t for this trade, the Caps may not be as good as they are right now.

Let’s start in 2013-14, the last time the Caps missed the playoffs. The Caps were a train wreck. They used a league-high 14 defenders and four goalies. Erat scored one goal in 53 games. In an empty net. Forsberg instead of Erat would not have made the Caps much better in 2013-14, when Forsberg played only 13 games for the Predators and scored one goal.

With the Caps being a bad team either way that season, it’s likely that General Manager George McPhee and coach Adam Oates would still be let go, and Barry Trotz, Mitch Korn and Brian Maclellan would still be still hired.

Even with Forsberg, Maclellan would have still picked up Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik. Since this move, the Caps’ blue line has been relatively stable.

Maclellan also traded for T.J. Oshie and signed Justin Williams for a two-year contract at $3.25 a million per year, which was $500,000 less than Antoine Vermette. In 140 games, Williams has 86 points. For comparison, Vermette has 60 points in 134 games.

This past summer, the Predators signed Forsberg to a six year, $6,000,000 a year contract. That is more than everybody on the Caps except Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Braden Holtby.

Assuming the Caps would’ve had to sign Forsberg to a similar amount, they probably wold not have been able to keep around  Marcus Johansson, or pick up Lars Eller.

“This team would be nowhere near as dominant as it is,” CSN’s Alan May said. “They had to learn to play a better system of hockey, a better brand. That huge mistake in that trade has made this team better for it.”

It is time that we put this trade to bed. Enough is enough. Stop thinking about what could have been and start looking at what we have. Also who knows, maybe Forsberg would not be as good of a player he is now if he was not traded.