Defenseman Dave Shand, two seasons a Washington Capital, will play his hockey in Austria next season. Shand was released yesterday after one excellent year here and another in which he spent more time scouting than playing.

Acquired from Toronto for Lee Norwood in October 1983, Shand compiled an outstanding plus-23 rating in 72 games with Washington. He suffered a fractured cheekbone in training camp last fall, however, and never gained a starting role. He dressed for only 13 games last season.

The Capitals signed five junior players yesterday to contracts for next season, four 1983 draftees and 1984 pick Jim Thomson, a winger for the Toronto Marlboros who finished the year at Binghamton of the American Hockey League.

Three are out of the Quebec League -- defenseman Yves Beaudoin of Shawinigan, who excelled in the Memorial Cup series: goaltender Alain Raymond of Trois-Rivieres and center Martin Bouliane of Granby. Left wing Dwaine Hutton played for Kelowna of the Western League.

Defenseman Paul Cavallini, a prized 1984 draftee who played for NCAA finalist Providence, has announced that he will join the Canadian Olympic team, keeping him out of the Capitals' reach until 1988.

Washington has offered a new contract to center Paul Gardner, the unanimous choice as most valuable player in the AHL. Gardner is pursuing other possibilities.