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Capitals Camp: No Poti for the Caps this morning

by Ben Raby
ARLINGTON, VA -- Twenty-two Capitals, including six defensemen, have taken to the ice for Washington's first on-ice session of training camp. Tom Poti is not among them.

The 34-year-old defenseman was among the 23 players listed in 'Group A' but it comes as little surprise that he is not on the ice.

Poti was limited to just 21 games last season due to nagging groin injuries and general manager George McPhee suggested at the team's exit meetings last May that Poti's career "could be in jeopardy."

Poti signed a two-year extension last September -- a deal that starts this season and comes with $2.875 annual salary cap hit -- but McPhee operated this summer as though Poti would not start the campaign.

The Capitals begin training camp nearly $900,000 above the salary cap. If Poti is unable to suit up, he can be placed on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) with his salary not counting against the cap. McPhee may address the media this afternoon, and if he does Poti's status is sure to be a topic of discussion.

The six defensemen on the ice this morning include Karl Alzner, Mike Green, Sean Collins, Patrick Wellar and Brett Flemming. Veteran John Erskine is on the ice sporting an orange non-contact jersey following offseason shoulder surgery.

Alex Ovechkin, celebrating his 26th birthday today, is skating on a line with Marcus Johansson and Mike Knuble. Nicklas Backstrom is centering Brooks Laich and Alexander Semin.

Jay Beagle, D.J. King and prospects Cody Eakin, Stanislav Galiev, Danick Paquette, Kyle Greentree, Garrett Mitchell and Samuel Henley round out the forwards.

Michal Neuvirth and prospect Philipp Grubauer are in goal. 
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