When the Washington Capitals' annual summer development camp begins at Piney Orchard next week, Alexander Ovechkin, the team's No. 1 overall selection in the June entry draft, will not be there.
Ovechkin's name was noticeably absent from the roster released yesterday -- the Capitals said he will remain in Russia where he is training with his club team, Moscow Dynamo. The roster does include many of the organization's top prospects, including Alexander Semin, Boyd Gordon and Steve Eminger. The five-day camp opens Monday, with on-ice sessions -- daily from 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. -- open to the public.
Among the 29 invitees will be Washington area native Stephen Werner (a third-round choice in 2003), and 2004 selections Jeff Schultz, Mike Green and Chris Bourque (son of Hall of Famer Ray Bourque), and free agent goaltender Wyatt Russell (son of actors Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn).
Meantime, the team also announced its six-game preseason schedule, which will begin Sept. 23 against Philadelphia at MCI Center [Full schedule, Page D8]. The Capitals are set to face the Flyers, Pittsburgh and Carolina two times each -- if they have a season for which to prepare. The collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and its players' association expires on Sept. 15 and a work stoppage is expected.
-- Tarik El-Bashir