Defenseman Timo Blomqvist, a member of the Washington Capitals the past four seasons, has no desire to take a fifth. Irked by erratic playing time, he has asked the Capitals to trade him.
"We've had difficulties with Timo," General Manager David Poile said yesterday. "He expressed a desire to be traded and I've made an effort to accommodate him the last two weeks with no success. He's still under contract, so it's up to him whether he'll do anything so drastic as not coming to camp."
Blomqvist is in his native Finland and could not be reached for comment. Before he went home, he complained about limited ice time last season.
Although Blomqvist participated in 53 games, it was often as a sixth defenseman in spot situations. Still, he compiled a satisfactory plus-11 rating. He dressed for only three of Washington's last 13 regular season games and two of five playoff games.
Blomqvist, 24, was a highly regarded young player when he joined the Capitals in 1981, but he suffered a broken jaw during training camp and each year injuries have retarded his progress. Last fall, a cracked finger made it difficult for him to hold a stick in early games.
Both sides reported a lack of progress in the Bob Carpenter contract negotiations and it seems doubtful the high-scoring center will be at Mount Vernon Ice Rink for the start of training camp Sept. 17.
"I don't want to predict that far in advance and I'm hopeful it will be settled by then, but Bob will not be at camp unless he has signed a contract," said Bob Murray, Carpenter's agent. "Realistically, the way things are going, there's a good possibility he won't be there."
"We certainly have a difference when it comes to money," Poile said. "That's the key and it has been since day one. But we've talked almost every day and it hasn't come to the point of dead air.
"I don't want to set any deadlines, like the first day of camp. John Riggins wasn't there for the Redskins' first practice, but things worked out. I'm sure we'll succeed, too."