Martin Erat requests a trade from the Capitals, the Senators are still shopping for blueline help, and here’s a crazy thought: Michael Del Zotto to the Islanders?

Unhappy Martin Erat requests a trade from the Capitals.

Unhappy Martin Erat requests a trade from the Capitals.

WASHINGTON POST: Katie Carrera reports Capitals winger Martin Erat has requested a trade, believing he hasn’t received a chance to be a top-six forward. Erat has a full no-movement clause but GM George McPhee said the winger has been flexible and accommodating over potential trade destinations. McPhee said he’s spoken to several teams and is trying to work out a trade for Erat, who was acquired at last season’s trade deadline from the Nashville Predators for prospect Filip Forsberg. His contract carries a $4.5 million per season cap hit through next season, though his actual salary this season is $3.75 million and drops to $2.25 million next season. The Capitals could retain part of Erat’s salary in a trade but McPhee said he wouldn’t consider doing that.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As USA Today’s Kevin Allen observed, Erat has five goals in his last 68 games and given his cap hit, how do the Capitals sell that? Unless McPhee changes his mind about picking up part of Erat’s salary, he’ll have to package a high pick or a promising prospect to a club with cap space and a willingness to use it. Otherwise, he’ll have to buy him out next summer.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators ongoing slide has GM Bryan Murray still shopping around for a defenseman, but two league sources say the Sens will have to give up something of value if they want a top-four blueliner. Garrioch claims the Senators have interest in NY Rangers blueliner Michael Del Zotto but if the Blueshirts want Chris Neil or Marc Methot that’s a non-starter. They’re also reportedly interested in Florida Panthers defenseman DmitryKulikov but the asking price is said to be high and there’s talk he could head back to Russia next summer when he becomes a restricted free agent.  The Carolina Hurricanes have Tim Gleason available but he has two years on his deal at $4 million per plus a full no-trade clause for this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Further complicating things for the Senators is their unwillingness to add salary. Regardless, if they want a good top-four defenseman, they’ll have to part with a decent roster player.

NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple proposes the New York Islanders contact the New York Rangers about defenseman Michael Del Zotto.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While I don’t doubt the Islanders could use Del Zotto, I don’t see the Rangers shipping him to Long Island.