Barry Trotz spent the holiday weekend working from his office, inside an empty Washington Capitals practice facility, because the flight to his family’s summer home in British Columbia was simply too long for two days. So the first-year Capitals coach finalized his plans for development camp, which opened Monday, and began looking ahead to the preseason. It’s become routine, an early eye turned towards training camp, the exhibition lineups sketched out months in advance.
“I can put my lines up and say, ”This line will work, this line will work,'” Trotz said. “Then I’ll get to training camp and I’m going, ‘This line does not work,’ and I’ve got to switch it. You go in with a thought process and a plan.”
For now, until told otherwise, Trotz has penciled in forward Tom Wilson for training camp, expecting the 20-year-old bruiser to be ready despite suffering a recent ankle injury. Details of the injury have not been disclosed — the Capitals will only say it happened in “a fall” — and the team is currently waiting for test results from doctors in Toronto, which a spokesman said are expected within the next two days.
“He’s getting evaluated,” Trotz said. “Right now, basically we want to get a little more information, but it looks like he’ll be ready for training camp, or be coming into that part of training camp. Right now, I have him in training camp.”
As for whether the Capitals had received a diagnosis?
“No, not really,” Trotz said. “He hurt his ankle. It’s an ankle injury. So it’s just a matter of getting the diagnosis. I could tell you lower body but … he hurt his ankle a little bit. Right now he’s expected to be ready for training camp. I haven’t taken him out of anything. He’s young. Young guys, they’re conservative when you go to doctors, whatever the time frame with young guys, they always beat that. They’re pretty consistent with that. Older guys, sometimes they’re right on as you get older.”
Wilson made his NHL debut last season but mostly saw ice time in a fourth-line capacity, playing in all 82 games and scoring 10 points. His 14 fights ranked fifth in the league.
>> Monday afternoon, the Ottawa Senators announced that General Manager Bryan Murray had been diagnosed with cancer. He was a head coach for the Capitals from 1981 to 1990, the first hire of former General Manager David Poile, and was Trotz’s first coach in the WHL with the Regina Pats.
“Cancer, it’s a vicious disease,” Trotz said. “Brian’s a strong person and I know he’ll fight this. He’s in a great spot in Ottawa. I’m sure they’ll take care of him very, very well. Hopefully he can beat it.”
According to a team release, Murray is “undergoing further testing and will begin treatment immediately.”
>> Because it couldn’t fit anywhere else, here’s the full roster for Capitals developmental camp: