Washington Capitals claim Marco Sturm off waivers

By Katie Carrera
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 26, 2011; 9:10 PM

UNIONDALE, N.Y. - The Washington Capitals acquired veteran left wing Marco Sturm off waivers Saturday. It's the team's first addition to its roster from outside the organization since early December, but it may not be the last with the NHL's trade deadline at 3 p.m. Monday.

Sturm, 32, most recently was a member of the Los Angeles Kings after being traded by the Boston Bruins in early December, but he has been limited to only 17 games (nine points) his season because of the recovery and lingering problems from offseason surgery to repair the torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee.

Sturm played two games for the Kings this past week after being on injured reserve with tendinitis in the repaired knee for a little more than a month. The native of Dingolfing, Germany, said he is healthy and only needs to get back in the game-playing routine.

"I came back, maybe it was a little bit too early [the first time]. I played like 15 games [for Los Angeles] and I started to have a little bit of tendinitis, so we decided to just stop then," Sturm said. "I've been skating hard the last three weeks, and I played the two games this week and felt totally fine. I have a good feeling that I have everything back with the strength and I just have to play games. That's the only thing that I was missing, and I know I have a chance to get that with a lot of good players around me in Washington."

Sturm will earn $3.5 million this season. His prorated salary for the rest of the season will count $827,957 against the Capitals' salary cap, according to Capgeek.com. He will become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

It's possible Sturm will see time on the Capitals' second line and provide an additional veteran presence to the team's group of forwards. If he can stay healthy, Sturm, who scored at least 20 goals in each of his last seven full NHL seasons, may be able to add another wrinkle to Washington's offense at minimal cost.

The Capitals made four other moves Saturday, placing enforcer D.J. King on waivers, recalling forward Jay Beagle and goaltender Todd Ford from Hershey and reassigning center Mathieu Perreault to the Bears.

Ford served as Michal Neuvirth's backup against the New York Islanders on Saturday night because Semyon Varlamov suffered an undisclosed injury, believed to be a knee problem, during the morning skate.

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