CAPS GIVE 2 A CALL: The Capitals have called up forward Steve Seftel and defenseman Mark Ferner from their American Hockey League farm club, the Baltimore Skipjacks. Both players will join the Capitals today and accompany the team on a road trip to Detroit (Tuesday night) and Philadelphia (Thursday night).
The Capitals have had three days off because of the all-star break and a team spokesman said an update on the status of defenseman Rod Langway (sore back) and forward Peter Bondra (shoulder) will be made today. HIGH OPTION: Goaltender Ed Belfour had the black baseball cap with the Chicago Blackhawks logo pulled down low Saturday afternoon so he might hide among the crowd at the NHL All-Star Game in Chicago Stadium.
Belfour even brought his young son Dayn, wrapped in a blanket to hold and use as a shield. But none of the subterfuge worked. He signed autographs from his seat in the stands and later was greeted repeatedly by fans as he made his way to the Blackhawks' offices.
Belfour's celebrity was such that it almost made sense when his agent Ron Salcer insisted it would only be fair for the Blackhawks to pay Belfour $1 million a year when they sign him to a new contract after this season.
"I'm not kidding," said Salcer, who before the season was talking of a salary of about $300,000 a year.
Now Salcer is insulted when the lower figure is mentioned as Belfour plays out the option in his Blackhawks' contract.
"You sound like the Blackhawks," he said when $300,000 was mentioned to him. "That's what they want to pay. Let me ask you a question. What do the best players in the league make? What did Brett Hull get after one season? I think Eddie's in that range."
Hull's 72 goals last season brought him a contract for more than $1 million a year from the St. Louis Blues. Belfour is 29-11-3 so far this season in his first full campaign, and Salcer will play that record for all it's worth in negotiations. --