Right wing Hartland Monahan escaped the Washington Capital's doghouse last night. Monahan, whose public relations antics made him perhaps the most recognizable Capital was traded to the Pittsburgh penguins for a No.1 draft choice in 1979.

Monahan was playin out his option in Washington after trying unsuccessfully to renegotiate his contract since he was obtained from the New York Rangers in the 1975 intraleague dragt.

Monahan calimed promises had been made at the time of the transfer by fromer general manager Milt Scmidt that were not kept.

"Negotiations had reached the point that we could see no resolution to contract negotiations that had gone on all summer," said Washington general manager Max Mcnab in announcing the deal. "When I first came here, it was impossible for me to have a total fix on what went on before I came, but there was no ecord of anything of that sort."

"It's not shocking," said Monahan, who learned of the swap shortly before last night's game between his old and new teams, in which he did not play. "I knew somethine was going to happen. It was a matter of when and where. Right now I've got to walk I've got to get some air."

Monahan, 26, scored 40 goals in two years with Washington. But his greater contribution was made off the ice in building interest in the team and McNab said, "i don't think anyone has given as much to the club."

"He was an sset to our organization, not only on the ice, but with the work he has done during the summer," McNab wen on. "The Capitals established a policy on renegotiating contracts that went in force when Mr. (club president Peter) O'Malley arrived on the scene. The Capitals paid considerable money to get his contract and the contract he was playing under was a factor in obtaining him."

McNab said there had been feelers from other teams when Monahan's problems became general knowledge but "not to this extent. The offers were not nearly so substantial."

Monahan first learned he was anthema to the club after he mad his contract problems public. A team meeting was called to order players not to talk about their contracts and Monahan was relegated to a secondary squad at training camp for a day.

Monahan was busy greeting friends before last night's game, but he did not want to discuss the trade, heyond the above comments and the words, "I'm going to another to start another season."

Aside from the contract difficulties Monahan enjayed playing in Washington. He was a popular figure and last season he appeared frequently in Telscreen commercials plugging the team and its varied promotions.