Washington Capitals goalie Don Beaupre will spend this weekend playing two games with the Baltimore Skipjacks.
"Until you play your first game, you don't really know," Beaupre said of one's readiness for action. He missed most of training camp because of contract negotiations, so he has been working to build his stamina.
Beaupre had first suggested playing in Baltimore as a possibility. Coach Terry Murray initially thought it wouldn't be necessary, but they decided on the move after practice yesterday.
Jim Hrivnak was recalled from Baltimore. Mike Liut will start for the Capitals tonight against Winnipeg and probably the Rangers Saturday.
Hatcher Talks: No Action
Negotiations between the Capitals and Ron Salcer, agent for defenseman Kevin Hatcher, resumed this week. As of yet there is no final agreement, according to both sides.
"I spoke with him and I will talk with him again next week," General Manager David Poile said yesterday.
"We've sort of agreed to disagree," Salcer said of the current situation, although he said he considered it still amicable.
In the hours before last Friday's season opener, Hatcher said he decided to stay and play because the Capitals had made a good-faith effort to adjust his contract, which had three years left and was to pay him $200,000 this season. Hatcher and Salcer have tentatively agreed to add a fourth year to the contract, but nothing is yet final. In the meantime, indications are Hatcher will be paid about $500,000 a season, making him the highest-paid player on the team.
Peter Zezel and Mike Ridley recently signed contracts for one year and an option. According to a source, Zezel will earn $300,000 and Ridley $360,000. . . .
The Capitals had an optional practice yesterday at Capital Centre and 15 players skated. Steve Leach was a bit woozy after a collision in the third period of Wednesday's 4-2 loss to the Rangers. He was to see a doctor and it wasn't certain he would play tonight against Winnipeg. . . . A tape of Saturday's game between the Capitals and the Rangers, along with messages from several Capitals players, will be sent to U.S. Air Force installations in the Persian Gulf area.
Win, Lose or Draw
Kelly Miller was in a no-win situation, and hoped for a tie. In the first period of Wednesday night's 4-2 loss to the New York Rangers, the Capitals' left winger was forced to watch teammate Tim Bergland, fight his brother, Kevin, who plays for the Rangers.
"I was hoping it would come out a draw," Miller said. "I don't like to see fighting too much. I was hoping neither guy would get hurt and the referees would get in there quickly."