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He didn’t expect Erat’s continued presence to be a problem. These things happen, Oates noted. He requested trades a couple of times during his Hall of Fame playing career. If Erat isn’t moved soon, Oates said there would be no hesitation to put him in the lineup again.

“Only problem would be is if it turned into a sideshow,” Oates said, “and he’s not that type of person. As a coach, my job is to be a pro, too. He’s been nothing but a pro about it.”

Said Erat, “It is my job and I’m going to prove to everybody if I can to try and play as best as I can. But right now, for me, it is time to look at different options.”

McPhee said taking on Erat was right for the Caps at the time. Forsberg, 19, has one goal and four assists in 12 games for Nashville this season. Latta is playing regularly for the Caps on the fourth line. He has a goal and two assists in 14 games.

“No regrets,” McPhee said. “We did what we had to do then and we’ll do what we have to do now.”