Capitals set opening night roster

The Capitals set the bulk of their roster that will start the 2011-12 NHL season on Tuesday, when a final round of cuts were announced from training camp. But before the league’s 3 p.m. deadline on Wednesday they finalized the group with two injury designations.

In what should not come as a surprise, defenseman Tom Poti was placed on long-term injured reserve. Poti was limited to only 21 games last season with a nagging groin muscle pull and is not expected to be available to Washington in the near future. General Manager George McPhee has previously expressed concern that Poti’s groin problems could be career threatening.

By placing Poti on LTI, the Capitals get relief under the salary cap in the amount of the veteran defenseman’s $2.875 million salary.

Washington also designated John Erskine as injured non-roster. Erskine, who did not pass his training camp physical, is still recovering from shoulder surgery in May and has not been cleared for contact yet.

Being designated as ‘injured non-roster’ means the Capitals can activate Erskine at any time because there is no minimum number of days he is required to miss for this classification compared to injured reserve, which mandates a player must miss at least seven days. Erskine’s contract still counts against the salary cap.

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