Leit wing Mike Marson, the man who gave up a fat option-year salary for a more realistic long-term contract, rejoined the Washington Capitals today.
Marson scored 16 goals as a rookie in the Capitals' first season, but managed only four while commuting to the minors the last two years. This season, Marson had been playing for the Capitals' Hershey farm club, where he collected five goals and three assists in 20 games.
In September, Marson voluntarily surrendered the six-figure salary due him under the option year of his contract, a half-million-dollar plum he received as an underage, second-round amateur draft selection in 1974. Instead, he signed a three-year pact that enabled him to continue his hockey career without a sense of desperation.
An aggressive player who served 35 penalty minutes at Hershey. Marson figures to restore some of the Capitals' physical deficiencies created by the injury to Bill Riley and the demotion to Hershey of Gord Lane.
The Capitals were almost three hours late in reaching their hotel in snow-struck Cleveland today.
The team's morning flight from Baltimore departed an hour late because crews were trying to clear enough of the 13-inch snowfall from Cleveland's Hopkins Airport to permit resumption of traffic. Following a 30-minute holding pattern over Cleveland, the players spent another 20 minutes waiting for a lone shoveler to clear the path that enabled the portable jetway to reach the aircraft.
After departing, the Capitals ordered a bus that developed a fuel problem and was forced to stop on Interstat Rte. 71. The driver was cheered when he had made the necessary repairs, but by that time the bus had become trapped on ice along the shoulder and it was necessary to obtain rock salt from a passing motorist before completing the journey.
Coach Tom McVie retained his strained sense of humor throughout the ordeal and commented. "I spent a lot of time in the minor leagues and I can take this. If it's the worst thing that happens to us today, we'll be all right."