The Washington Capitals deposited their No. 1 player in the plus-minus ratings, left wing Errol Rausse, on the Hershey farm yesterday before flying to Denver for tonight's battle with their fellow expansionists, the Colorado Rockies.
Concurrently, the Capitals recalled winger Tim Coulis from Hershey for the second time in five days and placed the forgotten man, goalie Jim Bedard, on irrevocable $100 waivers.
Rausse, the team's No. 2 choice in the August entry draft, departed with a plus-five rating. No other Capital is higher than plus two, the status reached by Dennis Maruk before he was injured. Rausse had collected five goals and two assists while playing every game.
"It's disappointing to be sent down," Rausse said, "but I'll just work as hard as I can so I can get back as soon as I can.
"Gary Green gave me a list of things to apply myself to so I'll improve my mental concentration. I know what I have to do, now I just have to do it. I'm a little down, but it's okay."
Bedard was a long way farther down in spirts and was hoping that somebody would give him a chance to regain his form of two seasons ago, when he replaced Bernie Wolfe under difficult circumstances and played extremely well.
Bedard remained on the Capitals' roster following training camp this fall, but he never dressed for Washington and finally was sent to Hershey Nov. 8. He played a total of three periods in two games there and concedes he was not sharp. After six weeks without playing a game, he hardly figured to be.
"Gary Green gave me a good chance there, but I had a hard time concentrating," Bedard said. "I had been sitting on the sidelines so long and I had a lot of things on my mind, so I didn't have the proper concentration.
"I played only four games in training camp and never started one. The odds are against you coming off the bench and I realize I didn't play all that great.But I wish I'd had the chance to lose my job in the National League and not in a hotel room.
"I just wanted to get settled in somewhere. I still believe I can play in this league. The last couple of weeks I've sunk to a new low and I was all set to go home today, but Mr. (Max) McNab told me to stay around, that somebody was interested in me.
"I just hope to get picked up by a team that can use me, even if it's in the minors, so I can get other teams interested in me for training camp next fall."
The Capitals plan to pay off Bedard, as they did Jack Lynch, if nobody claims him. Despite the rather strange treatment accorded him this fall, Bedard has no gripes about the Capitals.
"I don't want anything written bad about the team," Bedard said. "They have enough problems without somebody yelping in the papers. It really hurts me to watch the games at Capital Centre. I cheer for them and I know how tough it is. I'm sure, if they give him enough time, Gary Green will turn it around."
Coulis played capably Thursday night in Boston, then was returned to Hershey the following day. A first-round draftee in 1978, Coulis missed all of last season with a broken wrist.