LANDOVER -- The Washington Capitals, who have been operating with three extra forwards since calling up Pat Peake and Steve Konowalchuk last week, lost two of them yesterday.
The trade of veteran forward Pat Elynuik was planned. The loss of veteran center Keith Acton on the waiver wire wasn't.
Capitals general manager David Poile sent Elynuik to Tampa Bay for a 1995 fifth-round draft choice.
Earlier in the day, he was forced to put one of his other players on waivers, due to the signing of veteran defenseman Brian Curran. Poile chose Acton, who was scratched from last Saturday's game and was scheduled to be scratched again last night, and was surprised when the New York Islanders picked him up.
"I made a mistake," said Poile, whose team is deeper in forwards than defensemen. "I did not think we would lose Keith Acton. I did not think anyone would take him. It especially hurts because the Islanders are in our division."
The trade of Elynuik had been in the works for 10 days, as Poile searched for a deal and finally settled on Tampa Bay and a draft choice.
"It was the best deal out there," Poile said. "Pat had been sitting the last three games, and that wasn't good for him or us. We had a meeting after last season to express our commitment to each other. To us, that meant he would score goals. He hasn't."
And with the arrival of rookie Pat Peake, who has played well since arriving last weekend, Poile decided to go with youth.
"We're passing the torch," Poile said.
Elynuik, who had 137 goals and 164 assists in five seasons, had one goal and one assist in four games this season.