The Washington Capitals assigned left wing Bob Joyce to the Baltimore Skipjacks of the American Hockey League yesterday.
Joyce, acquired from the Boston Bruins last season, has been out two weeks with a severely sprained ankle. To make room for Joyce, who cleared National Hockey League waivers, the Skipjacks assigned defenseman Wade Bartley to the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Junior League.
The Capitals replaced Joyce on their roster by recalling defenseman Bobby Babcock from Baltimore.
* The Capitals, who split their first two games, losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins, 7-4, Friday night and beating the Detroit Red Wings, 6-4, Saturday night, play the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden tomorrow night (7:35, Channel 20).
Among the participants for the Capitals will be defenseman Kevin Hatcher, who missed the preseason while holding out for a new contract. Hatcher played in both Washington games over the weekend.
"Kevin sort of ran out of gas in the third period," Capitals coach Terry Murray said. "He still has a way to go as far as conditioning is concerned, but it's nice to have him back there [at defense]."
"I stayed in good shape at home, but I'm a little behind," Hatcher said. "My timing will take a while, I guess. All I can do is continue to work hard and get my game in order."
Hatcher and Capitals general manager David Poile are continuing contract negotiations.
* Bobby Gould, a former member of the Capitals and BostoBruins, is a player-coach with the Maine Mariners of the AHL.
* Gene Ubriaco, former coach of the Penguins and Skipjacks, idoing the commentary on Skipjacks radio broadcasts over WLIF (1300 AM). Ken Albert is handling the play-by-play.
* The Skipjacks and Hershey Bears suffered crippling injuries last week.
Baltimore lost left wing Randy Pearce, Washington's No. 4 pick in last year's draft, with a broken leg in its exhibition victory over Hershey, and the Bears lost a former Skipjack and Los Angeles King, center Tim Tookey, with a broken leg in their season-opening triumph over the Binghamton Rangers, 2-1, Friday.
Both are expected to be out at least four months.
* The Hershey media should have a good time with new Bears coach Mike Eaves, who speaks in cliches.
A couple of examples after his team lost to the Skipjacks, 5-3, Saturday at Hersheypark Arena:
* "We came on like gangbusters, then just faded away."
* "We're just going to have to play them one at time."
* "Hockey is a tough game, and anything can happen."