Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Washington Capitals continued their signing spree yesterday, adding their seventh and eighth free agents of the past week in an effort to fill potentially massive holes in the lineup.

Yesterday’s acqusitions literally were no small matter. The Caps signed 6-foot-5, 230-pound defenseman Ivan Majesky and 6-foot-6, 220-pound defenseman Mathieu Biron. Both are right shots.

The Caps have signed, come to terms with or traded for a center, two left wings, two right wings and three defensemen since Aug. 4.

Majesky, 28, is a native of Slovakia and has played in 145 NHL games, spending a season each with the Florida Panthers and Atlanta Thrashers. Majesky scored seven goals and 22 points and accumulated 168 penalty minutes in those seasons.

He is good at moving the puck out of the defensive zone quickly and responsible in his own end. However, he has a bad knee that limited him to just 63 games in 2003-04 for the Thrashers.

Biron, 25, a Quebec native, was picked 21st overall by Los Angeles in 1998 but never played for the Kings. He was traded to the New York Islanders, then the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Panthers, who bought out his contract July28. Big as he is, Biron is said to lack a mean streak and is not a smooth skater.

Right wing Alexander Mogilny, 36 and a free agent, reportedly has narrowed his choices to Florida or Washington. The Caps, however, would not confirm any discussions with him.

The erratic Mogilny can be one of the league’s most spectacular players one night, then make little impact the next. He has missed 54 games during the past two NHL seasons because of injuries and is currently recovering from hip surgery. He had been scheduled to make $4.2 million with the Toronto Maple Leafs but has let it be known he would be willing to take a pay cut.

Three Canadian teams and at least one in the United States have made preliminary inquiries about Caps defenseman Brendan Witt, 30, who has asked to be traded.

Notes — Veteran goalie Olie Kolzig said he has accepted an invitation to play for Germany in the Winter Games in Turin, Italy, in February. Kolzig, 35, was raised mainly in Canada but carried a German passport. He has represented that country in international competition in World Cups, world championships and the Olympics. …

League-wide, 11 players elected to go to salary arbitration, none of them Caps.

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