Capitals set to make final cuts


Today is decision day in the Washington Capitals' camp.

Director of player development Jack Button, general manager David Poile and coach Terry Murray said that by tonight their opening night roster for Friday will be set.

Some of the decisions appear obvious -- Jim Hrivnak, for instance, will be kept due to Don Beaupre's holdout -- but others regarding young players like Jeff Greenlaw and Brent Hughes aren't.

Some other former fringe players, like John Druce, Tim Bergland and Nick Kypreos, might also get their walking papers back to Baltimore based on so-so camps.

Murray, who currently has eight defensemen and 15 forwards on the team, said after Saturday's 4-1 loss to Philadelphia at the Arena that every player got two exhibition games over the weekend to be evaluated.

In the case of some, like Hrivnak, he wasn't terribly impressed.

He said Hrivnak allowed "a couple of soft goals" and "with Beaupre not here maybe he thinks it's an automatic."

Hrivnak said, "I don't think they were bad goals. It certainly wasn't my best performance of training camp. I want to deserve a spot on the team. I don't want the job because there was no one else there to take it."

Poile said the situation regarding Beaupre's return looks bleak.

"We don't have much to talk about," said Poile, who emphasized that this is the third year that Beaupre has held out for more money and that he has been the one to give in both times. "We'd like to have him back, but we've been through this before. Maybe he just doesn't like training camp."

Button was more succinct -- "Don Beaupre doesn't live here anymore."

The Skipjacks gave their fans a good indication of what to expect in Saturday's 5-4 loss to the Hershey Bears at the Arena.

Toughness will certainly be a key element in the makeup of this year's team if displays by Richie Walcott, Trevor Halverson and Dave Morissette are for real. All were victorious in scraps with more seasoned Bears' veterans like Mike Stothers, Rod Dallman and Bill Armstrong.

"We've got guys here fighting for jobs and they are going to do whatever it takes to remain in Baltimore," Jacks coach Robbie Laird said. "We want guys who have that competitive spirit."

Neither Poile, Murray nor Laird gave any indication about what players may go where.

Murray said last night's rematch with the Flyers, a 4-3 loss at the Spectrum with Mike Liut in goal, will provide more answers.

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