HARTFORD, SEPT. 19 -- The just-resumed contract discussions with holdout defenseman Kevin Hatcher paused today as Washington Capitals General Manager David Poile left training camp to attend the funeral of his grandmother.

Poile and Ron Salcer, Hatcher's agent, spoke Tuesday for the first time since Sept. 6, but both said their discussion was centered more on philosophy than numbers. With Poile en route to Thunder Bay, Ontario, for the Thursday funeral, there was no further talk as of early this evening.

"We talked more in principle rather than in depth," Salcer said today of the Tuesday chat. "I'm not sure if it is an indication of where we are going; whether we're taking a step forward or maintaining the same position. Obviously, it is an unfortunate situation for David and, when there is a better time for him to call me, we will talk."

Poile said Tuesday he was exploring the possibility of making a trade for another veteran goalie, given that the negotiations with free agent Don Beaupre were not progressing. Chicago and Detroit are two teams with an excess of goaltenders, including some veterans.

"I'm disappointed, but I guess David is exercising his options," Beaupre said today. . . .

The Capitals had planned to give away growth posters with Hatcher's picture on them to fans at the Nov. 10 game against Buffalo. However, the newly printed pocket schedules say Kelly Miller will be the player on the poster. For what it's worth, Miller is five inches shorter than Hatcher.

No Word Yet on Bondra

An NHL spokesman said the league is still working on the contract situation of Peter Bondra, who joined the Capitals this season but has nine years left on a contract of some form with the Kosice team in Czechoslovakia.

"We do have an understanding to honor any valid hockey-playing contracts," said NHL public relations director Gerry Helper. "But for the time being, the contract {with Washington} is being treated as valid until a final determination is made."

Helper could not say when a final decison might come or what the likelihood is of Bondra being able to play for Washington.