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Capitals Camp: Hamrlik held back as precaution

Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 5:54 PM

By Ben Raby - NHL.com Correspondent / Super Saturday

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Capitals Camp: Hamrlik held back as precaution
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Free agent signee Roman Hamrlik did not complete the Capitals' mandatory conditioning test on the first day of training camp because of tightness in his groin.

"I wanted to be safe," Hamrlik said. "It was a hard practice and I had some tightness in my groin. It was a good move by Bruce."

Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said he was being "overly cautious" with his 38-year-old defenseman, who did take part in practic

"I just said ‘Hey listen, I don't want you to do this,'" Boudreau said of his conversation with Hamrlik. ‘"Let's be precautionary. We'll do the test in a week when you feel better.'"

Hamrlik arrived in D.C. on Wednesday after spending the first two weeks of September skating with his former teammates in Montreal.

"When you get older everything is harder for you," he said. "I have a few weeks to get in better shape and be ready for the season."

Hamrlik has proven durable during his career, appearing in at least 75 games in each of the past five seasons. He was also a minutes-eater in Montreal and led the Canadiens in time on ice last season.

"I wanted to make sure that - on his first day out with us - that he wasn't trying to be overly brave and do something," Boudreau said. "Once he said, they're a little tight, I said, 'OK, fine, shut it down.' "

Hamrlik plans to return to practice tomorrow.
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The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres