The Washington Capitals roster is starting to take shape with the team’s latest round of cuts Saturday morning. Six players were sent back down to the team’s American Hockey League affiliate in Hershey, Pa.

Thoses cut included forwards Shane Gersich, Beck Malenstyn and Brian Pinho; defensemen Lucas Johansen and Colby Williams; and goaltender Vitek Vanecek. The Capitals now have 28 players on their training camp roster ahead of the team’s preseason finale against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday afternoon at PNC Arena.

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 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)

♦ Brian Pinho (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)

♦ Connor Hobbs (Hershey)

♦ Axel Jonsson-Fjallby (Hershey)

♦ Brett Leason (Hershey)

♦ Philippe Maillet (Hershey)

♦ Bobby Nardella (Hershey)

♦ Garrett Pilon (Hershey)

♦ Joe Snively (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)

♦ Casey Bailey (Hershey)

♦ Erik Burgdoerfer (Hershey)

♦ Tommy Hughes (Hershey)

♦ Kale Kessy (Hershey)

♦ Chris McCarthy (Hershey)

♦ Matt Moulson (Hershey)


♦ Logan Thompson (Hershey)

♦ Matthew Weis (Hershey)

♦ Steven Whitney (Hershey)

♦ Beck Warm (released from ATO)

♦ Hayden Hawkey (released from ATO)

Read more on the Capitals: