- The Washington Times - Monday, September 17, 2001

If you wanted to be a real spoilsport, you could e-mail the Washington Capitals today and point out that their blockbuster addition during the summer, Jaromir Jagr, has gone scoreless through two exhibition scrimmages.

That would be terribly unfair, of course, and not even germane. Training camp is a time for testing and experimentation. Jagr is checking out his new teammates, and they are watching him as if they need much practice after seeing him do a job on the Caps for 11 seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Caps went through another high-tempo, spirited intrasquad scrimmage yesterday with Corey Hirsch's White team drubbing Sebastien Charpentier's Black club 7-4. Coaches went out of their way to keep the teams' top lines away from each other to open up the scoring, and they got their wish.

Peter Ferraro, Dainius Zubrus, Calle Johansson and Peter Bondra scored for the winners before Adam Oates got the Black team on the board. Also scoring for the winners were Chris Corrinet, Mel Angelstad and Martin Hlinka, while Rene Corbet, Mike Farrell and Glen Metropolit tallied for the losing team.

The game was played before another full house at Piney Orchard Ice Arena in Odenton, Md., although it was not as overflowing as Saturday. Fans continued to fill donation buckets with money destined for disaster relief organizations.

The most noteworthy item to come out of the afternoon, perhaps, was seeing Oates, a 16-year veteran in the middle, on left wing on a line centered by Trevor Linden. Jagr was at his customary spot on the right.

"We're looking for combinations that work," said coach Ron Wilson, explaining the move in positions. "It's preseason. It's time to experiment. [Oates'] team lost, there was a lot of offense out there, and that's what we were looking for. The nice thing is pretty soon we'll be playing other teams with other colors and the familiarity isn't quite the same. It's always much easier to stop people when you know what they like to do."

Out of habit, Oates at times found himself in the middle when he should be off to a side and had to hustle back into position.

"Never," he replied when asked if he ever played wing before.

"It was different. I think Jagr suggested it to Wilson because of something they did in Pittsburgh. It was experimenting," the ex-center said. "There were things that were good about it, but obviously it was very foreign. I'm not used to it."

Nearly 30 players were reassigned yesterday, leaving 37 (not including holdout center Jeff Halpern) in camp. The players reassigned included:

Defenseman John Oduya, Hammarsby, Sweden; left wing Peter Polcik, Montreal Rockets; left wing Zbynek Novak, Slavia, Prague, Czech Republic; defenseman Artem Ternavsky, Omsk, Russia.

Defensemen Patrick Boileau, Nathan Forster, Jean-Francois Fortin, Nick Naumenko, Dave MacIsaac and Ryan Vanbuskirk to the Portland (Maine) Pirates training camp in the American Hockey League; forwards Mark Murphy, Krys Barch, Neal Healy, Scott Bertoli, Martin Hlinka, Roman Tvrdon, Jason Ulmer, Garrett Prosofsky, Chris Corrinet, Mike Siklenka and Brad Church to Portland; and goalies Curtis Cruickshank and Rastislav Stana to Portland.

Returned to their junior teams were left wing Owen Fussey, Calgary, and right wing Jeff Lucky, Spokane, both in the Western Hockey League.

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