Caps, Jacks open camp in Odenton


There are 69 players scheduled to report to the new state-of-the-art Piney Orchard Ice Arena in Odenton today, as the Washington Capitals and Baltimore Skipjacks begin training camp.

It will be the first time the Capitals have trained in the Washington-Baltimore area since 1988.

In 1989, the Capitals toured the Soviet Union, and in 1990 they trained at the U.S. Olympic Center in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Washington coach Terry Murray will greet 40 forwards, 23 defensemen and six goaltenders. There will be three on-ice sessions tomorrow with three groups -- veterans, rookies and minor-league players.

Skipjacks coach Rob Laird, who begins his second season, will assist Murray.

After five days of practice, the Capitals rookies will travel to the University of Delaware to face Philadelphia Flyers rookies Wednesday night. The next night, the same two teams will meet at Piney Orchard at 7 p.m. in the grand opening event for the arena.

Many of Capitals rookies are expected to be assigned to the Skipjacks this season, and the prospect leaves Baltimore owner Tom Ebright enthusiastic about the 1991-92 season.

"Having those young players here will mean a lot to our team," said Ebright. "Also, we'll probably wind up having the three players [center Simon Wheeldon and left wings Brent Hughes and Craig Duncanson] the Capitals got from Winnipeg [in exchange for defenseman Kent Paynter, left wing Bob Joyce and center Tyler Larter] with us this season."

Ebright also said: "I can't wait to get this season started. We've got all those good weekend dates and it looks like we're going to come close to breaking even financially if everything goes right. The increased weekend dates and the additional space for advertising on signs we've been given this year should give us an additional $300,000 in revenue."

The Skipjacks will have two preseason games.

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