LAKE PLACID, N.Y., SEPT. 18 -- The Kevin Hatcher contract talks have resumed, but the Washington Capitals were talking tougher today about the stalemate with free-agent goalie Don Beaupre.

"We are getting very close to the point of moving on and beyond Don Beaupre," said General Manager David Poile, who explored trade possibilities today.

Hatcher did not report to camp and wants his contract, which runs for three more years, to be renegotiated. After he failed to report Sept. 7, Poile cut off discussions with his agent, Ron Salcer.

"I called him to talk about Alan May," Poile said of Salcer, who also represents Dino Ciccarelli. "While we were talking, he mentioned something about Hatcher and we got into a general discussion about things.

"Some things were said and he said he would get back to me in a day or so. It was more a philosophical discussion, rather than the substance of a contract, with dollars and cents."

As for whether there was progress, Poile said: "I don't know how to assess the situation."

Salcer has not hesitated to chide the Capitals for not talking in the last 10 days, but he was fairly quiet today. "Right now, I can't make a comment because I don't know what direction this is going," Salcer said. He added he was "cautiously optimistic."

Philosophy aside, Salcer and Hatcher want more money. Hatcher, 24, is one of the NHL's best defensemen, but will make just $200,000 this season. Contacted yesterday at his parents' home in suburban Detroit, he said he's prepared to hold out longer, but is glad there has at least been some discussion.

"I'm hoping they get something done and talk again {Wednesday}," Hatcher said.

Poile said he spoke with Beaupre's agent, Ron Simon. Asked about progress, the general manager said: "Absolutely none."

Simon and Beaupre could not be reached for comment. The goalie would like a contract that stipulates if he plays more games this season than Mike Liut he will make close to the $455,000 Liut will make.

"I offered a three-year deal at a substantial raise," Poile said. "I told {Simon} today that I didn't care if he did {get back to me}."

Poile spent most of the day on the phone and, without naming names, said he thinks there is another veteran goalie available through a trade.