After five years, the Washington Capitals have given up on Mike Marson. The 23-year-old left wing, selected underage in the second round of Washington's first amateur draft in 1974, was traded to the Los Angeles Kings just before the Saturday midnight deadline. In return, the Caps got left wing Steve Clippingdale.

Clippingdale, 23, was placed on the Capitals' protected list of 15 skaters and two goalies, restricting him in Wednesday's draft by the four incoming World Hockey Association clubs. To protect Clippingdale, the Capitals made winger Eddy Godin available.

Clippingdale was a teammate of Mark Lofthouse at New Westminster in 1976, scoring 51 goals and earning second-round selection by the Kings. However, he has played only 16 games in the NHL over the last three seasons.

Last year, in 64 games with Dallas of the Central League, Clippingdale had 27 goals and 38 assists. He set a league record by collecting at least one point in 20 consecutive games.

Marson scored 16 goals in his first NHL season, but in 193 games spread over five seasons his total reached only 24. After his third season, Marson renegotiated his high-priced contract over a longer term at a lower rate so he would have more time to prove his worth. He must now prove it in Los Angeles.

There were no surprises when the Capitals submitted their protected list last night (five-year players automatically are protected). Besides the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Clippingdale, the names included Pierre Bouchard, Guy Charron, Rick Green, Dennis Hextall, Yvon Labre, Gord Lane, Lofthouse, Jack Lynch, Dennis Maruk, Robert Picard, Greg Polis, Tom Rowe, Pete Scamurra, Bob Sirois and goalies Gary Inness and Jim Bedard.

Bouchard, Green, Lynch, Scamurra and Sirois are entering the option years of their contracts and Peter O'Malley is leaving for Montreal today to discuss new pacts with their agents. Clippingdale technically is a free agent, but he has reached a verbal agreement with the Capitals.

Available for claim by the four new teams - Winnipeg, Edmonton, Quebec and Hartford - are Rick Bragnalo, Doug Gibson, Bob Girard, Godin, Ron Lalonde, Doug Patey, Bill Riley, Gord Smith, Blair Stewart, Alex Forsyth, Don McLean and Bernie Wolfe.

The league is meeting in Montreal through Thursday and, in addition to Wednesday's expansion draft, a highlight is Tuesday's luncheon, at which the all-star teams and special awards winners will be introduced. Washington's Ryan Walter is among the leading candidates for the Calder Trophy, given to the outstanding rookie.