- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 17, 2002

Seen and heard last night at Molson Centre in Montreal:

GONCH IS IN Washington defenseman Sergei Gonchar might have been looking for a few days off during the All-Star break, what with the Olympics just around the corner, but he was booked for the NHL’s premier event.
Gonchar was selected to play for the World team in the NHL All-Star Game in Los Angeles on Feb.2. It will be his second straight appearance; last year he had two assists.
Thus the defenseman’s February has become a busy one. He will play six games with the Caps, go through the All-Star routine and then take part in the Salt Lake City Olympic Games as a defenseman for Team Russia.
Going through the same routine will be Caps right wing Jaromir Jagr, who will be a starter in the All-Star Game and then try to help the Czech Republic defend its Olympic championship.
Surprisingly overlooked was wing Peter Bondra, who had 24 goals and 41 points heading into the game here. He has been an All-Star selection five times.
WHITFIELD TAKEN Center Trent Whitfield, put on waivers by the Caps to create room on the roster, was claimed by the New York Rangers. A defensive forward at this level, Whitfield had played 85 games for the Caps over a two-season period with two goals and seven points.
Whitfield moves into an advantageous situation with New York, at least for the moment. The Rangers are in the same situation Washington was in, with a lot of injuries creating openings on the roster. However, it could develop into the same situation there as it did with the Caps: When the bodies come back, roster space is limited and Whitfield might be on the move again.
COMING, GOING Right wing Jaromir Jagr did not practice yesterday and missed his fourth game in a row with what is described as a slight groin strain. He is on the current trip, and there is no indication he will be sent home early.
However, other injured Caps did skate yesterday, indicating the current run of injuries might be nearing an end. There was even a surprise appearance by defenseman Calle Johansson, who practiced in sweats. He is out for the season after rotator cuff surgery.
Also practicing were Matt Pettinger (flu), Brendan Witt (sprained right thumb) and Ulf Dahlen (bruised foot), the latter getting back on skates for the first time in a few weeks after one aborted comeback.
Dave Fay

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