The Washington Capitals have trimmed the list of candidates for their sixth defensive spot by placing Pete Scamurra and Brent Tremblay on waivers.

Both defensemen were returning from surgery and also were entering the option year of their contracts.

Scamurra, frequently injured, was unpopular with Capital Centre fans through his five-year Capital career and finished last season here witht the Bears.

Tremblay achieved brief popularity when he fooled Hartford's Gordie Howe to score a game-tying goal in only his fourth National Hockey League appearance last December. He was beset with back trouble, and played only five more games.

"By our assessment, they would have had a tough time making our club, so we gave them a chance to move elsewhere" said General Manager Max McNab. "Brent is still young, and still a prospect, but we have other guys. It would not help Peter to come down and play in Hershey."

Also missing as 54 Capitals gathered here today for the start of trainng camp was forward Don Micheletti, drafted from the University of Minnesota in 1977. Micheletti looked like NHL caliber two years ago with 37 goals for the Golphers' NCAA championship team, but a knee injury wrecked his season. He refused to come to camp without a contract and the Capitals would not tender one.

"His performance chart last year was so irregular we couldn't offer him a contract," McNab said. "He's free to sign with any club. The injury affected his skating, which was average at best. But there's no question if he had wanted to quit a year ago that we would have given him a contract."

Winger Steve Clippingdale was another absentee. He has a stiff neck that makes it difficult for him to play, and team doctors cannot find the source of the problem.

Winger Errol Rausse, who underwent knee surgery in May, has received permission to jog and will continue to undergo therapy in Washington for the next couple of weeks.

Late additions to the training camp roster were forward Mark Green from Cherry Hill, N.J., who played junior hockey in Sherbrook, Quebec, and defenseman Roger Lemelin, who finished last season here with the Bears and will be assigned to the minor league team once again.

The first day of camp was markedly different from the Tom McVie days, when a mile run was the dreaded first event. Today, after some tests and a meeting of veterans, many players accepted invitations to try the Hershey Country Club golf course while others played tennis. Coach Gary Green met with the entire team tonight.

There will be other changes when full practices start Monday. The double sessions under McVie and the two-a-day Capitals Cup scrimmages of Danny Belisle's 1979 camp have been forgotten. Green will conduct intensive two-hour morning workouts, with a handful of key players called back for afternoon power play and penalty-killing sessions.