They may not be moving anywhere, but the Washington Capitals have to wonder where they're going now.
After months of speculation that the club might move, merge with another team or disband before the coming NHL season, owner Abe Pollin announced on Tuesday that his franchise would remain in business and in Washington.
And after eight years of watching nonplayoff hockey, the Capitals' followers who lobbied all summer to keep their team in town will expect some changes on the ice.
They will have to wait a bit longer.
Pollin's only change so far has been to name one of his new partners, Dick Patrick, as the team's executive vice president. He was vague about his duties, but indicated Patrick would be involved on a day-to-day basis.
Pollin told a television interviewer Tuesday night that he, Patrick and Roger Crozier, acting general manager, would be running the team, and that no decision on Crozier's situation had been made.
Patrick was unavailable for comment.
Crozier, who has been acting general manager since last November, said he was unsure what front office changes might take place.
"There are absolutely no changes as of right now. I'm doing the job I was asked to do, and so is (coach) Bryan (Murray)," he said yesterday. "We haven't had time to sit down with Abe about what is going to be done, because we've been so busy trying to get things in place for the season and training camp.
"Abe has to make the decisions on the organization."
Pollin did not return phone calls yesterday. A Capitals spokesman said a meeting of team principals would probably take place within a few days.
Crozier said he had been renegotiating player contracts, and "waiting to see what happened with the team at the end of the deadline."
The deadline was Pollin's 30-day time limit imposed on the Capitals in July, when he outlined four conditions required for the team's operation this fall.
If all were not satisified by Aug. 20, he said, he would sell and move, merge or disband the franchise.
Pollin rejected an offer made by a New York-based group which planned to buy the team and keep it in Washington. Art Kaminsky, the agent-attorney who represented that group, said yesterday, "I really don't know if he intended to sell it. I assume he did. He -- and we -- spent a lot of time on it."
His new investors will now own 50 percent of the team, with Pollin retaining the presidency and control. Jim Lewis and Marty Irving, Patrick's partners in a Virginia real estate company, and Maryland businessman Albert Turner will form a limited partnership with Pollin.
Because of the Capitals' clouded situation all summer, other NHL teams had adopted a wait-and-see position before making any deals with Washington. Sources around the league said they were not aware of any "blockbuster moves" in the works for Washington.
Crozier would not discuss details of any potential deals, but said the signing of Washington's top draft pick, Scott Stevens, was a top priority.
He added that Milan Novy, a Czechoslovakian center, would arrive here later this week.
The Capitals also released their 1982-83 schedule yesterday.