Brooks Laich and Tom Poti were back in town and on the ice at the Capitals’ practice facility Thursday, leaving just three healthy players who haven’t shown up.
Laich skated for under an hour, mostly by himself. He was reported to have suffered an adductor injury while playing in Switzerland, but agent Roland Thompson said last month that the forward was healthy. Laich appeared to be testing himself.
The only healthy players yet to come to town are Michal Neuvirth, Wojtek Wolski and Roman Hamrlik.
Neuvirth, who had been playing in the Czech Republic, flew to North America on Wednesday and is expected to be on the ice with Caps teammates, agent Patrik Stefan said.
Poti was back skating in Arlington for the first time since 2011. Dealing with groin injuries and a fractured pelvis, the defenseman hasn’t played in an NHL game since Jan. 12, 2011.
But Poti said earlier this week he was skating pain-free and expected to take part in training camp. George McPhee called that a “long shot.”
Seventeen other players skated Thursday morning, including newcomers Joel Ward, Cam Schilling and Joey Crabb. Crabb lit up the ECHL during the lockout, putting up 17 goals and 21 assists in 35 games.
Defenseman Mike Green was the only player who had previously been skating who was not on the ice. Alex Ovechkin, Troy Brouwer, Jason Chimera, Matt Hendricks, Mike Ribeiro, Mathieu Perreault, Marcus Johansson, Jay Beagle, Braden Holtby, John Carlson, Karl Alzner, John Erskine, Jeff Schultz and Jack Hillen skated.
To no one’s surprise, there was no Nicklas Backstrom or Dmitry Orlov. Backstrom went to see a specialist in Michigan before training camp for an injury suffered Dec. 26 in Russia. Orlov hasn’t played since suffering an upper-body injury Dec. 6 at Verizon Center while playing for the Hershey Bears.
Owner Ted Leonsis made a brief appearance behind the Caps’ bench and talked to coach Adam Oates and assistant Tim Hunter.