The Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning hope to put the final touches on a deal that would end center Michal Pivonka's 15-year relationship with the Capitals.
Washington General Manager George McPhee said the trade could be completed shortly, and the teams are waiting to hear from the league on certain details. Pivonka, 33, limited to just 69 games the last two seasons and no longer in Washington's plans, was not at Piney Orchard for the start of training camp yesterday. He is scheduled to make $1.2 million this season and the Capitals will pick up part of that salary in the deal and likely receive draft pick compensation depending on how Pivonka performs in Tampa Bay.
"There are a few things holding it up," McPhee said. "But I'm still confident we can get it done."
Zednik's Return Delayed
Restricted free agent Richard Zednik remained in Europe and had some immigration problems, but those issues were supposed to be cleared up yesterday, McPhee said. Yogi Svejkovsky, also an unsigned restricted free agent, attended team medical testing yesterday, but will not be on the ice today. Defenseman Steve Shirreffs, acquired from Calgary for Benoit Gratton this summer, also is unsigned and did not report, though he will practice today.
Getting in Line
Capitals Coach Ron Wilson said he plans for his top lines at the start of the season to be Ulf Dahlen-Adam Oates-Peter Bondra, Svejkovsky-Andrei Nikolishin-James Black and Steve Konowalchuk-Jan Bulis-Zednik. Chris Simon and Joe Sacco are slated for the fourth line, with Jeff Halpern, Mike Eagles, Glen Metropolit and Matt Herr competing at center.
"I start training camp like I already made up my mind," Wilson said. "I've got what I think our lines will potentially be coming into the season. There's only realistically a couple of jobs that are going to be contested. But you always leave room for a surprise or two."