Left wing Gary Rissling will make his National Hockey League debut tonight in a Washington Capital uniform in a 7:30 Capital Centre battle with the Los Angeles Kings.
Rissling, 5-foot-9 and 171 pounds, was called up yesterday from Hershey of the American Hockey League, where he collected 12 goals and 16 assists in 32 games. He also served 195 penalty minutes, including five misconducts.
"He's been working hard and he's been a sparkplug for Hershey in most of the games they have won," said Washington General Manager Max McNab. "He deserves a chance in the NHL."
A move in the opposite direction was delayed at least until today, because center Rolf Edberg suffered a knee injury in a collision with Guy Charron in yesterday's practice. Edberg will be examined today, after the swelling goes down, to determine his availability.
That development extended for at least one more day the career of Michel Bergeron or Greg Carroll, the leading contenders for minor-league status.
Bergeron did not dress Saturday in Toronto, went scoreless in the four games before that and has drawn Coach Danny Belisle's wrath by compiling a minus 17 rating with obvious distaste for the physical aspects of the game.
Carroll has gone eight games without a goal and merited entry in Belisle's doghouse Saturday for drawing a foolish delay of game penalty with the Capitals ahead, 2-0. Toronto scored on the ensuing power play.
Belisle, who cut his throat shaving Saturday and had his new Christmas tie halved by a rougish player while sleeping a board the team's plane Sunday, was wondering whether the new year would bring improvement on the team's 8-22-7 record. Tonight would be the time to start, because the Capitals already trail the Kings by 13 points in the noncontest for the 12th and last playoff position.