The Washington Capitals invited Greg Polis to take another trip up Rte. I-83 yesterday, but this time the 29-year-old left wing proved balky.
"I don't know whether "I'm going Polis said of his second assignment to the Hershey farm club. "I'm still considering my future. I have a house here and a family, with a boy in school. I have to consider my family. I'm not 21 years old, ready to go trotting off and play anywhere they want to send me."
Polis was assigned to Hershey for two weeks in October after a slow start back from a broken right leg. That injury terminated a brilliant stretch last season in which he scored 12 goals in 19 games after being acquired from the New York Rangers.
Since returning from the minors, Polis has seen gradually less ice time, now little more than one shift a period. He has only one goal in 28 games.
"It's pretty tough to play when you only get on the ice for token shifts," Polis said. "It's like Catch 22. They tell you you're not producing, but how can you produce when you don't get any ice time? If I play regularly here and get a chance. I think I can prove I can play here.
"The last few games I've gone out there ready to play in the warmups and gotten a good sweat on and then sat until I got cold.
"New York, especially, I was psyched to play. I was hoping, I knew Pic (Robert Picard) was out and Lief (Svensson) was on defense and I hoped I'd get a chance to play. I think they would have thought the extra motivation, the chance to turn it around, would have affected their thinking.
"But I looked and it was the 12-minute mark of the first period before I went out and it was just for 30 seconds. In my case with the leg I need to play a lot and this way I was completely cold by the second period."
It was late in the second period that Polis was checked off the puck by the Rangers' Ulf Nilsson to start the play that boosted New York's lead to 4-1.
Gary Green, who had worked with Polis at Hershey and enjoyed Polis' respect at the time he replaced Danny Belisle as the Capitals' coach, said, "We're going with the younger legs. Greg has an excellent attitude, but he doesn't have the speed. With the injuries, when I came here he was the first-string left wing, but he's worked himself down to the fourth line and if he can't contribute any more than a younger player, I have to go with the young guy."
General Manager Max McNab offered more hope that Polis might be back for another tour in Washington.
"Things just aren't happening in the scoring area, but Greg has a history of being a streaky player and, if he can find the range, he'll be back," McNab said. "He needs to have his scoring confidence reinstated."
Polis cleared regular NHL waivers and may be left in Hershey indefinetely, if he chooses to report.