Paul Mulvey, the biggest Capital, will not be wearing a Washington uniform tonight when the capitals battle the Minnesota North Stars at Bloomington, Minn.
Instead, the 6-foot-4, 211-pound left wing will be in Hershey, Pa., skating for the host Bears in an American Hockey League game against Springfield.
"The guy's got so many things going for him, but he has to learn to manipulate himself into scoring chances," said Washington General Manager MaxMcNab.
"He does a lot of heavy work for us and this is no strike against him or anything. We think he should be playing regularly and refining the skills needed for pro hockey."
Mulvey, selected in the second round of the June amateur draft, scored two goals in his first three NHL games. His third goal, at the expense of brother Grant, produced a 22 tie in Chicago. However, he had gone 27 games without scoring again and had been used infrequently by Coach Danny Belisle in recent weeks.
It was suggested several weeks ago that Mulvey be demoted, but McNab said. "We're not the most physical team and he doess contribute in that way. He started out pretty well and we thought he earned a spot off what he showed early."
Blair Steart was brought up from Hershey Saturday and played well in Mulvey's place in the 2-2 tie at Detroit. Stewart will remain with the Capitals while Mulvey spends a minimum of seven days in the minors.
Mark Lofthouse and Gord Smith, who did not make the trip of Detroit, were among a 20-man squad that flew to Minnesota yesterday.
Lofthouse, pointless since his Dec. 9 hat trick in Vancouver was considered a possibility for demotion, but McNab said, "Mark has been off form the last six or seven games,but he was always manipulating good scoring chances, which Paul wasn't."
Smith has seen considerable duty as a penalty killer, although he has not skated a regular shift on defense for some time.
Left at home were veteran defenseman Bryan Watson, rarely used by Belisle, and goalie Bernie Wolfe, still bothered by a pulled leg muscle.
Defenseman Yvon Labre, his dislocated shoulder just about sound enough for action after more than seven weeks of recuperation, suffered another setback during the holidays. Labre is wearing an eye patch after a piece of rusted steel that had caused considerable irritation was removed from his eye.
Goalie Gary Inness, who has been in Indianpolis since Sunday, reported that he ran yesterday with some stiffness in his right knee, hypetextended when two players fell on him in Detroit. Winger Bob Girard skated in pratice here and noted no after-effects from the shot that struck his right knee Saturday.