A bright spot in a rough season for Caps forward Martin Erat

It was another rough blow in what has been a difficult season for Capitals forward Martin Erat.

Relegated to fourth-line duty and a healthy scratch an unprecedented eight times, Erat was frustrated enough to ask for a trade earlier this season. He was thrilled to be a late addition to the Czech Republic team that represented his country at the Winter Olympics in Sochi this month. He even scored a goal there. But even that experience was somewhat bitter after a 5-2 quarterfinal loss to the United States.

But all it took was a postgame phone call to brighten Erat’s outlook in the aftermath of that defeat. A family friend called him from Nashville with the news: His wife, Vera, had given birth there to a daughter, Victoria Bella, six days early. She joined their growing family. Sebatstian Erat is now two.

“First, we lost in quarterfinal it was hard to swallow,” Erat said. “But after when I got the news it put back a smile on my face. Everything has been great. But I want to go home to see my daughter.”

Erat hasn’t really backed off his trade request. He wants a bigger role going forward. The trade deadline is March 5. It’s the second year in a row he’s asked to be moved. The Caps acquired him from the Nashville Predators at the deadline last season. But for now, Erat is hoping his memorable stint at the Olympics and Victoria’s birth signals better things for the final 23 games of this season.

“Everybody scared us. Everybody felt like ‘How is it was going to be [in Sochi?],” Erat said. “But I can’t say anything but good things. It was great organized. Beautiful new arenas opened there, the Olympic village was great for us. Too bad we lost in quarterfinal, but everything else was unbelievable.”

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