WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Karl Alzner says he doesn’t think of Martin Erat any differently, as a person or teammate, one day after reports surfaced of Erat requesting to be traded from the Washington Capitals, furthering his comment by saying it’s not even awkward.
It hasn’t been an easy go for Erat since arriving in the nation’s capital, in a deadline deal which brought him here (after demanding a trade) from Nashville, along with prospect Michael Latta, in exchange for the Caps’ top prospect at the time, Filip Forsberg.
Erat, an eleven-year veteran of the NHL, is averaging just over 13 minutes per game, his shortest amount of time on ice since his second season in the league. But it won’t be an easy exit either, as Erat is carries a salary of $4.5 million – none of which GM George McPhee says he’s willing to eat, according to Katie Carrera – and has hamstrung the organization of any leverage it may have, by virtue of making his demands public.
Alzner, on with Lavar and Dukes on 106.7 The Fan on Tuesday, was asked if Erat requesting a trade makes his relationship awkward with the rest of his teammates.
“Not really, no,” Alzner said. “It might make it awkward, he might feel awkward, but I’m not thinking of him any different or the situation really any different. As a player, you’re gonna have to do what you gotta do sometimes if you’re not feeling good about the team, or your situation there, then if that’s what he wants to do, that’s what he feels necessary, then I say go for it. It’s just unfortunate that he didn’t feel better about being here. And I’m not gonna hold that against him.”
Alzner was then asked if it was fair to attribute Erat’s inclination to be traded as more of a business decision, rather than a problematic situation which may have developed between him and teammates in the locker room.
“I think so, yea,” Alzner said. “We’ve got quite a few players that can play on the top three lines and I think could do really well on any of those lines, and he’s a great player, and he deserves to be playing a lot and if he’s not getting enough here, he needs to make that call for his career, I think that’s what the call is. And I haven’t heard any problems with him and any of the guys, everybody loves him. And I think he loves everybody else so it’s probably a tough thing for him to do, but it’s a career move and I understand that.”