EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., OCT. 16 -- As the result of a unanimous vote Monday night by the Anne Arundel County Council, the Washington Capitals seem on their way toward acquiring a new practice and training facility in Odenton, Md.
"It will be a state-of-the-art training facility and, in my mind, equal to if not better than any other facility in the NHL," said Capitals General Manager David Poile.
Poile testified before the council and said he expects to have the facility ready for the start of training camp next September.
The Capitals have for the past few years practiced at Mount Vernon Recreation Center in Alexandria, but team officials have grown frustrated about the lack of space there.
And, because it is a public facility, the large blocks of ice time needed for training camp often were difficult to schedule. A trailer behind the center has served as the Capitals' weight room.
In the new building, the Capitals will rent 7,800 square feet of space. They will have locker rooms for their players and for members of their top farm club, the Baltimore Skipjacks. Also included will be a weight room, training and rehabilitation rooms and meeting areas. The team will have a 15-year lease.
The 9.2-acre site off Rte. 175, near Rte. 32, will be part of the Piney Orchard development project. KMS Corp. owned the land and sold it to the county, which in turn will lease it back to KMS for $1 per year.
To build the structure, the county will use $800,000 in program-open space funds, $500,000 in general funds and a loan to KMS for $700,000. The state will reimburse the county $600,000.
Before the vote, Sierra Club representives argued that open space funds are supposed to be used for parks, not private development. Robert Strott, a senior vice president of KMS, met with the group. After he agreed that KMS would present the county with the deed to 30 acres of Piney Orchard land, the environmental organization decided to withdraw its opposition. Checking for All-Stars
All-star ballots will begin showing up in arenas, and there are three Capitals on them -- right wing Dino Ciccarelli, defenseman Kevin Hatcher and goalie Mike Liut.
For the sixth year, fans will vote for the starting lineups, with the coaches filling in the rest of the rosters. The all-star game is scheduled for Jan. 19 in Chicago.
Washington Post Staff Writer Lisa Leff contributed to this story.