The Washington Times - January 7, 2009, 02:52PM

We had a chance to talk to GM George McPhee about a few things this afternoon, and one of them was Stefan Della Rovere, who had an interesting turn as Canada’s agitator in the world junior championship. He was at times the perfect physical presence and at times over the line and a detriment. Della Rovere led the tournament in penalty minutes just as he was leading the OHL before leaving for Canada’s WJC camp.

Here’s what McPhee had to say about his seventh-round pick from June at the WJC:


“Loved him — I love the way he plays. He’s a little over the edge a few times, but that’s understandable. That looks like a heck of a pick. He’s really competitive, tough, goes to all the hard areas — he is one of those heart-and-soul guys you like to have.”

In other news, McPhee said John Erskine is awaiting a second opinion before returning to the ice. He’s been cleared by one doctor, but the Caps want him to be cleared by two.

He also didn’t offer much insight into the pending cap crunch if Sergei Fedorov comes back this weekend, saying only that the team goes “game-to-game” with the roster and the salary cap. Putting Tom Poti on long-term injury reserve is only a short-term solution, because Poti could be ready in another week.

“I don’t want [Alzner] or anyone else hanging on every word I say about what could happen,” McPhee said. “We’ll just see how things go and we’ll make decisions as we move along.”

“Trades are hard to make in this league right now, and we have a lot of depth. We’d rather have a lot of depth. Every once in a while someone is going to have to sit out that doesn’t want to sit out.”