Veteran Capitals Ron Lalonde, Bill Riley and Mike Marson will be left behind today when 26 members of the hockey club depart for London, Ontario, and tonight's exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The significance of the assignments was downgraded by General Manager Max McNab, but absence from the traveling squad obviously was not in indication of management's high regard.

Lelonde's ommission was on surprise, since he had been working with the B squad for a week and even played in Tuesday's rookie game against Philadelphia.

Riley and Marson, however, had been with the regulars throughout training camp. They had not played particularly well, but if that were the only criterion for selection the Capitals could have carried the whole team in a two-seater.

The players feel, without apparent foundation, that any public expression of displeasure will meet with vindictive treatment, so there was no comment from that direction.

"I have nothing to say," Marson said, before a question could be asked, and hurried into the dressing room for yesterday's B squad practice.

Riley was willing to discuss his situation, but he concluded by saying "They're the bosses. I'd rather not say anything else."

McNab promised that there would be roster movement after Saturday night's game in Quebec against the World Hockey Association Nordiques. The Capitals go on to play the WHA New England Whalers in Springfield, Mass., Sunday and the Maine Mariners of the American Hockey League in Portland on Tuesday.

Among the youngsters named to the traveling squad were center Greg Carroll, left wings Gary Rissling and Paul Mulvey, and right wings Tim Coulis, Mark Lofthouse and Eddy Godin.

Left wing Nelson Burton and center Glen Currie, weary after playing five rookie games in five days, are probable Springfield replacements.