Defenseman Rod Langway, 35, and right wing Tim Bergland, 27, might not be with the Washington Capitals by late tonight.
They top a list of 17 players the Caps have made available to the Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators in the NHL expansion draft, which starts at 6 p.m. in Montreal.
Washington figures to lose one defenseman and one forward in the draft. The expansion teams will get 20 players each. The current 22 NHL teams are allowed to protect 14 of their forwards and defensemen and two goaltenders.
Bergland, right wing Mark Hunter -- who was acquired in a trade Monday that sent Nick Kypreos to the Hartford Whalers -- and center John Byce are thought to be the most attractive Washington forwards on the list. Byce, 24, played for the Skipjacks last season.
Langway, Ken Sabourin and Shawn Chambers are considered the top defensemen available from the Capitals.
Washington general manager David Poile said last night that he doesn't think the Capitals will lose Langway because he is threatening to retire if drafted.
"Rod won't be taken," said Poile. "I see Ken Sabourin going among our available defensemen, and Mark Hunter or Tim Bergland being chosen from our forwards."
Poile said there is always concern about diluting the product when expansion occurs.
"You worry about it," Poile said. "But I hope the league remains competitive enough to put on a good show."
Skipjacks coach Barry Trotz said last night that Byce, if not drafted, could be called up to the Capitals for next season.
"Each team in the AHL is going to lose one player to its NHL franchise as a result of the expansion draft," said Trotz. "We're all in the same boat. I don't think it will affect a lot of teams in the AHL because most of the players taken will be at the lower end of the NHL scale."
Trotz said right wing Reggie Savage has the best chance to be promoted to Washington next season as a result of the expansion draft.
Here are all the Washington Capitals and some of the more familiar players around the league who will be available in today's NHL expansion draft. The Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning will each select 21 players -- two goaltenders, seven defenseman and 12 forwards.
Goaltender: Steve Weeks
Defensemen: Bob Babcock, Shawn Chambers, Rod Langway, x-Ken Sabourin, x-Shawn Anderson, x-Chris Felix
Forwards: John Byce, Craig Duncanson, Jeff Greenlaw, Mark Hunter, Steve Seftel, Tim Taylor, Tim Bergland, x-John Purves, x-Mike Richard, x-Alfie Turcotte
` Buffalo Sabres
Goaltender: Clint Malarchuk
Defensemen: Grant Ledyard, Mike Ramsey, x-Bill Houlder
Forwards: Rick Vaive.
` Calgary Flames
Forwards: Carey Wilson
Goaltender: Ray Leblanc
Forwards: Michel Goulet, Tony Horacek, Tony Hrkac
% Detroit Red Wings
Goaltender: Allan Bester
Forwards: Troy Crowder, Brian MacLellan
$ Hartford Whalers
Goaltenders: Mario Gosselin, Peter Sidorkiewicz
Forwards: Paul Cyr
% Los Angeles Kings
Goaltenders: Darryl Gilmour, Robb Stauber
Defensemen: Tim Watters
Forwards: Scott Bjugstad, Jay Miller, Dave Taylor, Jim Thomson
) Minnesota North Stars
Goaltender: Steve Guenette
Defensemen: Rob Ramage
Forwards: Neal Broten, Stewart Gavin, Basil McRae, Brian Propp, Bobby Smith, x-Alan Haworth
& Montreal Canadiens
Forwards: Sylvain Turgeon, x-Mats Naslund
New Jersey Devils
Defensemen: x-Viacheslav Fetisov, x-Jeff Sharples.
Forwards: Dave Barr, Laurie Boschman, Pat Conacher, x-Peter Stastny
& New York Islanders
Defensemen: Dean Chynoweth, x-Tom Kurvers.
Forwards: Brad Dalgarno, Graeme Townshend, Mike Vukota
$ New York Rangers
Defensemen: Normand Rochefort.
Forwards: Randy Gilhen, Tim Kerr, John Ogrodnick, x-Jan Erixon
' Philadelphia Flyers
Defensemen: Dave Fenyves, Moe Mantha
Goaltenders: Wendell Young
Defensemen: Gilbert Delorme, Bryan Fogarty, Grant Jennings, Peter Taglianetti
Forwards: x-Joe Mullen
$ Quebec Nordiques
Goaltender: Scott Gordon
Defensemen: Doug Crossman
Forwards: Gino Cavallini, Wayne Van Dorp
# St. Louis Blues
Forwards: Rich Sutter
Toronto Maple Leafs
Forwards: Mike Bullard, Mike Foligno, Kevin McClelland
Goaltender: Bob Mason
Forwards: Robin Bawa, Ryan Walter
! Winnipeg Jets
Goaltender: Daniel Berthiaume
Defensemen: Randy Carlyle, Kent Paynter, x-Roger Ohman.
Forwards: Rob Murray