- The Washington Times - Friday, July 8, 2011

During the NHL’s annual buyout period, teams like the New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers parted ways with veterans with big, long-term contracts. But among Chris Drury, Sheldon Souray and other big names, the Washington Capitals went through the process with 30-year-old defenseman Tyler Sloan on June 30.

It was considered by some a curious move given that Sloan will count $233,333 against the cap in each of the next two seasons — instead of nothing if he was in Hershey.

Now, we know why.

Unhappy with his spot — often spent in the press box — with the Caps, Sloan asked for a trade as far back as the trade deadline, his agent, Jeff Helperl, told The Washington Times on Friday.

“He wanted to get to a spot that he could play,” Helperl said. “He was always used as a seventh or eighth defenseman.”

George McPhee was cooperative but could not find a taker.

“[McPhee] said, ‘If I can get him to another spot, let’s try and make this work,’ ” Helperl said.

Sloan, who played 99 games with the Caps over the past three years, became the team’s eighth defenseman again late in the season when Sean Collins was recalled from the Bears. When Mike Green went down to injury in the playoffs, Collins — not Sloan — stepped into the lineup.

After the season, “We went through waivers twice and got to a point where he could be bought out,” Helperl said.

Sloan had one goal and five assists in 33 games this past season with the Caps and registered a minus-6 rating. He was making $700,000 per year.

Asked to comment, McPhee said through a spokesman there isn’t much to say and that this happens with NHL players and the Caps decided to buy Sloan out of his contract.

According to Helperl, Sloan is close to signing with a team, but no further specifics could be provided.

• Stephen Whyno can be reached at swhyno@washingtontimes.com.

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