With business 100 percent back to normal on the opening day of training camp at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday, head coach Barry Trotz began his daily chat with the media by announcing that Martin Erat would be joining captain Shea Weber, alternate captain Mike Fisher and goaltender Pekka Rinne as part of the Predators leadership group for the 2012-13 season.
A member of the organization since being selected 191st overall (seventh round) by Nashville in the 1999 Entry Draft, The Trebic, Czech Republic native enters the 2012-13 season ranked second on the franchise’s all-time games played (687), scoring (460), goals (159) and assists (301) lists, in addition to holding club records for shootout goals (15), attempts (43) and shootout-deciding markers (11, tied for fourth-most among active players).
One season ago, Erat led the team and posted a career high in points (19g-39a-58pts), his fifth 50-point campaign in the last six seasons. During the 2012 playoffs, he tied for second on the team in assists, moving him into a tie atop the franchise leaderboard in postseason helpers (15). He also ranks second in postseason games played (46) and points (23).
Erat is a two-time Olympian, having represented the Czech Republic in both 2006 and 2010, in addition to playing in three World Championships (2006, 2008 and 2012), a World Junior Championship tournament (2001) and an Under-18 World Championship (1999).