Capitals assign Dafoe to Skipjacks

September 29, 1992|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Staff Writer

Washington Capitals coach Terry Murray thought he'd wait a little longer to make a final decision on his backup goalkeeper. But yesterday, with the Oct. 7 season opener looming closer, Murray and general manager David Poile assigned 23 players to the Baltimore Skipjacks, including goalkeeper Byron Dafoe.

"I know I said I wasn't in a hurry to make decisions," Murray said after practice. "But the amount of people we had in practice was almost too many. In the case of our goalkeepers, it is particularly important. I've got to get them plenty of work so they're ready to go when the season starts. It's the most important thing, and we're on the ice for only about an hour or an hour and 20 minutes a day."

So Dafoe was assigned to the Skipjacks, to assure plenty of practice time for Jim Hrivnak, who will back up Don Beaupre. Dafoe played in two games, allowed four goals for a 4.07 goals-against average and an .897 save percentage.

But Hrivnak, who played in 12 games with the Capitals last season, probably clinched the backup position with his strong ,, play in Saturday's 7-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. In preseason games, he has played 122 minutes, compiled a 2.46 GAA, a .929 save percentage and a 3-0 record.

Murray has 28 players practicing with the parent club, which will wind up the preseason with two games this weekend: Friday against the Skipjacks at the Baltimore Arena and Saturday in Philadelphia.

"We still have a lot of people, and while there is no deadline on decisions, I hope to make some more fairly soon," said Murray, who plans to keep 12 or 13 forwards and seven defensemen. "There are no set number on how many we can keep, but with Baltimore being so close and practicing in the same facility, the logic is why keep a lot of guys on our bench when they could be getting playing time?"

Players on the bubble include left wing Jeff Greenlaw and right wings John Druce, Mark Hunter and Paul MacDermid. Their futures aren't anywhere as clear as that of right wing Reggie Savage.

"In Reggie's case, he's had a couple good years with Baltimore, but he's younger than those other guys," Murray said. "If we don't keep him up here, he probably will go back to the Skipjacks. But older guys, like Druce, Hunter, Greenlaw and MacDermid -- they've played in the NHL in the past, and if we can't keep them, you won't see too many happy guys."

For the veterans on the edge, Murray said the Skipjacks probably aren't an option. "We'll probably have to see if we can find another NHL spot for them."

Assigned to Skipjacks

The Washington Capitals assigned the following players to the Skipjacks yesterday:

Player.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..Pos.

Byron Dafoe.. .. .. .. .. .. .. G

Duane Derksen.. .. .. .. .. .. .G

Olaf Kolzig.. .. .. .. .. .. .. G

John Slaney.. .. .. .. .. .. .. D

Jim Mathieson.. .. .. .. .. .. .D

Ken Klee.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. D

Bob Babcock.. .. .. .. .. .. .. D

Rob Leask.. .. .. .. ... .. .. .D

Eric Lavigne.. .. .. .. .. .. ..D

Jiri Vykoukal.. .. .. .. .. .. .D

Randy Pearce.. .. .. .. .. .. .LW

Darren McAusland.. .. .. .. ...LW

Steve Seftel.. .. .. .. .. .. .LW

Trevor Halverson.. .. .. .. .. LW

Steve Konowalchuk.. .. .. .. ...C

Jeff Nelson.. .. .. .. .. .. ...C

Mike Boback.. .. .. .. .. .. .. C

Martin Jiranek.. .. .. .. .. ...C

Tim Taylor.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .C

Keith Jones.. .. .. .. .. .. ..RW

Chris Longo.. .. .. .. .. .. ..RW

John Byce.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .RW

Steve Martell.. .. .. .. .. ...RW

Trevor Duhaime.. .. .. .. .. ..RW

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