Roman Hamrlik was the last player left on the ice this morning at Scotiabank Place and will be a healthy scratch for tonight’s game against the Senators. As the Capitals plan to sit Hamrlik, French-language news outlet RDS reports that the team is also shopping the veteran defenseman.
“Hamrlik has been offered a few teams, but the Capitals are very demanding,” reports Renaud Lavoie of RDS, via the powers of Google translate.
Teams in search of a veteran presence on the blueline could be interested in Hamrlik, who leads the Capitals in blocked shots (119) and is 19th in the league in that category.
Given that he looks every bit of his 37 years at times on the ice and is in the first season of a two-year deal with an annual salary cap hit of $3.5 million, however, Hamrlik may be a bit of a tougher sell for teams looking to add a defenseman.
One team that could possibly be a fit is St. Louis, which is in need of a veteran defenseman and recently lost some leadership with Jamie Langenbrunner (broken foot) out of the lineup. The Blues have had officials at recent Capitals games, both home and away.
In 55 games this season, Hamrlik has two goals and eight assists and a plus-1 rating while averaging 19 minutes 11 seconds of ice time per game. Over 37 games since Dale Hunter was hired in late November, Hamrlik has a plus-11 rating but the coach was blunt when asked about why the veteran would be out against the Senators Wednesday.
“We want him to be a defensive defenseman,” Hunter said. “He’s giving up too many chances so he’s out of the lineup. Giving up too many, took a bad penalty last game and so we’re going to put someone else in.”
Over the past 10 games, Hamrlik has been on the ice for six of the 24 goals the Capitals have allowed. Hunter said that regardless of his experience, Hamrlik’s performance warrants that he not be in the lineup.
“Everybody’s even. We’ve got to make the playoffs,” Hunter said. “It’s a battle of who stays in the lineup.”