- The Washington Times - Friday, December 20, 2002

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:
NORTH FOR HOLIDAYS: The Caps assigned defenseman J.F. Fortin to the Portland (Maine) Pirates of the American Hockey League for conditioning purposes. He has not performed up to expectations this season and was a healthy scratch in the team's previous game. Fortin, 23, can spend up to two weeks with the Pirates before he has to be recalled or exposed to waivers.
The move leaves the Caps thin should there be an injury. Right now the only spares on the roster are Glen Metropolit, a center who can play all three forward spots, and Andreas Salomonsson, a left wing. Should there be an injury to a defenseman, Alex Henry, who played wing against the Bruins, would be pressed into service.
The NHL holiday roster freeze went into effect at midnight last night, meaning players cannot be moved unless it is under emergency circumstances. The freeze continues through Dec.27.
ALL STARS: Right wing Jaromir Jagr seems assured of an All-Star berth in Sunrise, Fla., in February but no other Cap is. Jagr leads the voting among Eastern Conference wings with 86,507 votes, more than 12,000 ahead of Pittsburgh's Alexei Kovalev. Washington's Peter Bondra is 12th with 27,881.
Olie Kolzig of the Caps is eighth among Eastern goalies with 16,851, well off the front-running pace of Tampa Bay's Nikolai Khabibulin. Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux has nearly three times the votes for center as his closest competitor, with former teammate Robert Lang of the Caps 12th at 9,796.
Washington's Sergei Gonchar is fifth in the voting for defensemen with 56,186, nowhere close to the leader, New York Ranger Brian Leetch with 95,328.
TAKE A SEAT: The American Hockey League has suspended Washington farmhand Peter Ferraro for three games after the Portland right wing received a game misconduct penalty Dec.13 for abusing an official. Ferraro and his twin brother, Chris, have been chosen as captains for one of the teams in the league's All-Star Game next month.
Dave Fay

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