The Washington Capitals, who once had more defensemen than they could fit into uniforms, bolstered their injury-riddled back line yesterday by obtaining 6-foot-4, 210-pound Pat Ribble from Toronto.

Officially, Ribble was obtained for future considerations, but the future is almost here, because the considerations were center Mike Kaszycki and he was to be notified at the conclusion of last night's game in Edmonton.

Washington becomes Ribble's fourth team in less than a year. After playing almost three seasons for Atlanta, Ribble was traded to Chicago in March. The Black Hawks then passed him on to Toronto.

In 36 games this season, the 25-year-old Ribble has recorded one goal and four assists while serving 22 penalty minutes. His Nhl career figures read 210 games, 14 goals, 37 assists and 198 penalty minutes.

Ribble figures to be used as a fifth defenseman to spell regulars Pierre Bouchard, Paul MacKinnon, Rich Green and Robert Picard. Alan Hangseben will be permitted to remain full time on the wing, where he lends needed muscle.

Kaszycki's admitted chief fault was an inability to take the body, according to Coach Gary Green's preferences. Kaszycki was a nonchecking high scorer as a junior at Sault Ste. Marie and was unable to acquire the refinements of NHL-type checking during three years as a New York Islander.

The Capitals obtained Kaszycki from the Islanders on Dec. 7, in exchange for defenseman Gord Lane, who walked out on the Capitals two weeks earlier.

In 27 games with Washington, playing both center and left wing, Kaszycki collected seven goals and 10 assists. A plus player with New York, he was minus six as a Capital.

The Capitals began the season with nine defensemen, but have lost Yvon Labre, Pete Scamurra and Leif Svenson to injuries, while releasing Jack Lynch and trading Lane.