At previous training camps, Washington Capital management has sat back and waited for candidates to play themselves off the team. This time, each opportunity for exposure seems to produce another player with an enhanced reputation.
Today's man of distinction is Dave Parro, a 22-year-old goaltender obtained from Quebec in June. Parro, rated No. 4 among Washington goalies when camp began, has been capable throughout but he was not severely tested until Saturday night.
Parro passed that test admirably, blocking 11 New York Ranger shots of considerable difficulty while blanking the Stanley Cup finalists for 30 minutes and preserving a 2-1 Washington Victory.
"You can't get too excited, because I've seen it happen too many times, but he certainly was sharp last night," said Capitals Coach Danny Belisle.
"It's a tough situation going in to the game in the middle like that," said Parro, who relieved starter Gary Inness. "But the guys were playing well and I got a couple of breaks.
"They've got some tough decisions to make, because all the goaltenders have been looking good. I'm sure they know I'm here and I'm glad I've been able to show them something. If anything happens to (Wayne) Stephenson or Inness, I'm sure I'll get a chance."
Parro toiled with Boston's Rochester farm club for two years, was grabbed by Quebec in the expansion draft and immediately peddled to Washington for winger Nelson Burton.
"With Boston, the guys on the farm never knew anything," Parro said. "Nobody in Rochester knew what was going on. I was glad to get out of there. Washington is a good organization.
"Boston left me unprotected because they didn't think I'd be picked up. Quebec just took me for spite, because they were mad at Boston about something. They never intended to keep me.
"But it's worked out good for me. It was a bit of a shock when Washington got Stephenson, but with the merger, a lot of guys are looking for work and it was bound to happen. I'll just do my best and we'll see."
If Parro continues to play well, it might help persaude the Capitals to trade Jim Bedard, in whome Pittsburgh has expressed interest. Inness was scheduled to share goaltending duties with Stephenson Friday night, but Bedard was a late, unexplained sub and played well in front of the Penguins' entire scouting staff.
Similar speculation surrounded contract dissident Rick Green's late substitution for Yvon Labre Saturday night, explained merely as "a change of plans" by Belisle. The Rangers' entire corps of scouts was on hand for that one, in which Green was a defensive standout.
Today was another housecleaning day among the younger players. Sent to Port Huron of the International League were goalie Pat Devlin, defensemen Gary Plamondon and Keven Tendler, and wingers Jean-Pierre Dubois and Dan Erickson.
Offered Port Huron contracts but still uncertain of acceptance were defenseman Brian McCafferty, left wing Barclay Haddad and center Marc Hetnik. Goalie Bart Hunter will return to Regina as an overage junior.