The negotiations between Ron Salcer, the agent for defenseman Kevin Hatcher, and Washington Capitals officials will continue today after a one-day lull.

"We expect to wrap it up in the near future," Salcer said yesterday after watching the Capitals' morning skate. "There are a few minor details we have to tie up, but I'm hoping there will be an announcement of a new contract in the next little while."

Salcer met with team president Dick Patrick and General Manager David Poile Thursday, and there was some phone contact Friday. Poile had to attend a league meeting in West Palm Beach, Fla., yesterday, thus the delay in talks. Patrick and Salcer talked some yesterday.

Hatcher did not report to training camp until three days before the season-opener to demonstrate his displeasure at the pace of contract renegotiations. With Patrick and owner Abe Pollin getting involved, there was enough last-minute progress to keep Hatcher with the team for the start of the season.

No deal was completed, but indications were that Hatcher would be paid at a rate of $500,000 per season, although that and future years were still negotiable. Hatcher and Salcer have agreed to the Capitals' demand for an additional year on the contract, which had two years and an option year remaining.

New Tippett

Dave Tippett raced out of the Vancouver arena Oct. 30 to catch a red-eye flight home because his wife, Wendy, was expecting their second child. He got home in plenty of time as Friday, Wendy gave birth to a girl, Natalie.

New Shoes

One of the team's corporate sponsors is Reebok, so players were carting home some shoes the other day. Tippett tried on the shoes in the locker room. That particular model has a pump that, in theory, uses air to mold the shoe to the foot. "Back home," said Tippett, who was born in Moosomin, Saskatchewan, "the only thing we had with a pump was the well."