Washington took a close look at its young forwards during Friday’s 4-3 preseason loss to the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center and while some impressed, others did not.
“I think some players really did a good job of sending a message to our staff and organization that they belong and need to be here and some other guys, they need some more work in Hershey,” Capitals Coach Todd Reirden said.
Of the 28 players still on the roster, it is significant that goalie Ilya Samsonov and defenseman Martin Fehervary didn’t get loaned to Hershey, since both players are waiver-exempt. (Defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler is also waiver-exempt but is expected to make the opening-night roster.)
Fehervary skated on the top defensive pairing John Carlson during the Capitals’ Saturday afternoon practice in Washington. That would be defenseman Michal Kempny’s spot in the lineup, but he was still in a light-blue non-contact jersey, still recovering from his torn hamstring in April. The Capitals are still unsure if Kempny will be ready for the season opener on Oct. 2.
Cutting Vanecek means there are only three goaltenders left on the roster: Samsonsov, incumbent backup Pheonix Copley and starter Braden Holtby.
NHL teams have until Oct. 1 to trim down their roster and get under the salary cap. With a projected 23-man roster, the team is more than $1.3 million over the salary cap ceiling of $81.5 million, according to CapFriendly.com. The Capitals will get some salary-cap relief while Evgeny Kuznetsov is suspended because his $7.8 million cap hit will be off the books until he returns Oct. 8 against the Dallas Stars. Kuznetsov’s suspension will buy them an additional week to become compliant.
The following is a running list of players the Capitals have cut in training camp so far. This list will be updated as more cuts are made throughout training camp.
Fourth round of cuts on Sept. 28:
♦ Shane Gersich (Hershey)
♦ Beck Malenstyn (Hershey)
♦ Lucas Johansen (Hershey)
♦ Colby Williams (Hershey)
♦ Vitek Vanecek (Hershey)
Third round of cuts on Sept. 25:
♦ Alexander Alexeyev (Hershey)
Second round of cuts on Sept. 22:
♦ Kristofers Bindulis (Hershey)
♦ Tobias Geisser (Hershey)
♦ Axel Jonsson-Fjallby (Hershey)
♦ Philippe Maillet (Hershey)
♦ Bobby Nardella (Hershey)
♦ Garrett Pilon (Hershey)
First round of cuts on Sept. 19:
♦ Connor McMichael (London; OHL)
♦ Aliaksei Protas (Prince Albert; WHL)
♦ Eric Florchuk (Saskatoon; WHL)
♦ Alex Kannok-Leipert (Vancouver; WHL)
♦ Damien Riat (Biel; Swiss NLA)
♦ Kody Clark (rehab in Hershey; upper-body injury)
♦ Riley Sutter (rehab in Hershey; upper-body injury)
♦ Erik Burgdoerfer (Hershey)
♦ Chris McCarthy (Hershey)
♦ Logan Thompson (Hershey)
♦ Steven Whitney (Hershey)
♦ Beck Warm (released from ATO)
♦ Hayden Hawkey (released from ATO)
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