Saturday morning was the final day of the Capitals’ 2013 training camp, and the roster stood at 29 as the Caps reported to Kettler for a morning skate in advance of last night’s preseason finale against the Blackhawks in Chicago.
Prior to leaving for the Windy City yesterday, the Capitals placed defenseman Tyson Strachan on waivers. He cleared at noon today and will be assigned to AHL Hershey.
Just before noon today, Washington reassigned defensemen Dmitry Orlov and Michal Cajkovsky and left wing Dane Byers to Hershey. Orlov is heading into the final season of his entry-level contract; he does not require waivers to be sent to Hershey.
Cajkovsky and Byers are both on Hershey (as opposed to NHL) contracts already, but both acquitted themselves well in camp and may have positioned themselves for an NHL pact at some point in the future. The Caps have issued an NHL contract to a Hershey player in the middle of each of the last two seasons, with forward Joel Rechlicz (in 2011-12) and defensemen Steve Oleksy (in 2012-13) earning those pacts.
Speaking of Rechlicz, he was placed on waivers today. The Caps will learn at noon on Monday whether he clears or not, but either way, Washington’s roster is now at 24 players, one over the maximum.
Two of those 24 players are 19-year-olds who played for the OHL Plymouth Whalers last season. Right wing Tom Wilson had three goals during the exhibition season and defenseman Connor Carrick had a goal and four assists. More importantly, neither looked out of place and both capably handled the speed and physicality of the league, at least at its preseason pace.
Wilson cannot play in the AHL this season while Carrick can. Washington also still has rookie center Michael Latta on its roster. Latta was acquired from Nashville in April 3 in the deal that also brought Martin Erat to the District. None of the three rookies still remaining on the Washington roster would need to pass through waivers.
The Caps have until 5 p.m. on Monday to pare their roster to 23 or fewer players and must make certain that the combined salaries of those players does not exceed the 2013-14 NHL salary cap upper limit of $64.3 million. Washington departs the District for Chicago in advance of that deadline, and is likely to be on the ground in Chicago by the time the roster deadline rolls around.