Caps prep for Bruins
Defenseman Roman Hamrlik spent Tuesday morning the way he has spent almost every morning this season – skating with the Capitals’ other healthy scratches while his teammates prepared for their game against the Boston Bruins.
Only this time, after Hamrlik left the ice, he was informed that after playing in just four of the Caps’ first 20 games, he had been placed on NHL waivers, beginning at noon.
At 39, Hamrlik is in the final season of a two-year, $7 million contract he signed in the summer of 2011. He carries a cap hit of $3.5 million, which makes him an undesirable commodity on the waiver market.
If Hamrlik goes unclaimed, the Caps have the option of assigning him to the AHL Hershey Bears but still would be responsible for his $3.5 million salary because he signed his contract over the age of 35.
If Hamrlik clears waivers and refuses to report to Hershey, the Caps would have a few options.
They could suspend him without pay, or they could release him and agree to pay a percentage of his salary.
Hamrlik, who has one assist this season, became expendable when the Capitals called up two rookie defensemen from the Bears, Tomas Kundratek and Steve Oleksy. As left-handed shot, Hamrlik had fallen to ninth on the club’s depth chart.
With 1,383 NHL games, Hamrlik has played more NHL games than any active NHL defenseman. He’s also played the most NHL games among Czech-born players, passing Bobby Holik on Oct. 15, 2011.