Tom Poti has been skating pain-free in Boston and is pretty confident he’ll be cleared and get on the ice for Washington Capitals training camp when it opens.
“I’ve been feeling pretty good the last week or the last four to five days was like the first week I’ve had that’s been pretty much pain free,” Poti said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. “It was kind of encouraging this week coming off that, and then hearing the good news that the lockout’s over. I’m hoping to come down to D.C. and just try it out and see how I do.”
Poti, bothered by a groin injury and fractured pelvis, hasn’t played in an NHL game since Jan. 12, 2011. General manager George McPhee has said in the past he did not expect the defenseman to be able to play again. Poti has been on injured reserve since getting hurt.
To be able to skate at training camp, Poti must get clearance from team doctors and trainers. He believes that will happen.
“I’ve been busting my ass these last two years. It’s been a long process, a long two years going through all kinds of rehab and all kinds of therapy and working with my trainer and just trying to keep my sanity by not playing hockey,” Poti said. “I’m pretty confident that they’ll give me a shot and it’s up to me what I do with it and how I go out and perform.”
Poti, 35, has one year left on his contract, with a cap hit of $2.875 million.
A team spokesman said McPhee would address Poti’s status Tuesday during his scheduled press conference if asked about him.
Poti said Monday he had not yet talked to McPhee about the near future. As an injured player, he has been getting paid and has been permitted to talk to trainer Greg Smith.
“I’ve been talking to him every couple weeks throughout the lockout and just kind of updating him on my progress and just picking his brain about what I should do differently,” Poti said. “He was getting the notes every time I went to the physical therapist and every time I saw my trainer. I talked to him about what should I try on the ice skatingwise; should I ramp it up a little bit this week or just kind of stay status quo or stuff like that? It’s been a really long road and a lot of hard work on my part. I’m hoping that it pays off and I can get back to having some fun and playing some hockey.”