The Washington Capitals have assigned defenseman Karl Alzner and forward Jay Beagle to the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Hershey Bears, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today.
Alzner, 20, has played in 30 NHL games this season, recording one goal and four assists. He recorded his first NHL point Dec. 4 in a 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders and recorded his first NHL goal the next game in a 2-1 victory at Toronto on Dec. 6. The 6’2”, 206-pound Burnaby, British Columbia, native has played in 24 games this season with Hershey, recording two goals and eight assists.
Beagle, 23, stands 6’3”, 207 pounds and returns to Hershey after dressing in two games for the Capitals, including his NHL debut Feb. 11 at the New York Rangers. Beagle has two goals and five assists in 25 AHL games this season.
Comment: Beagle was only called up when Semin was injured and #28 is back so no need to keep him up. As for Alzner, I’m surprised and not surprised on this. I still think he is likely the 3rd best defensemen (behind Mike Green and Tom Poti) on the team but he hasn’t played like that consistently for the last couple of weeks. I believe a big part of that is due to the fact that he is getting yanked back and forth between the NHL and AHL and no matter how confident a guy Alzner is and was (and in his first stint up with the club he was very confident), this type of thing is NOT good for his psyche and overall development. He needs to play but he does dominate in the AHL based on what people down in Hershey tell me. He was doing great up in Washington before the whole issue of possibly being sent down due to salary cap reasons started weighing on his mind in January. The Caps do have eight defensemen now, which is not realistic to maintain, so Alzner is the only one who can go down and play in the AHL. The others would need to clear waivers. So if Boudreau and McPhee really think that Alzner is one of the best six defensemen on the team then they need to trade at least one of the other defensemen by March 4th. Staffan Kronwall can NOT go back to the minors because he was claimed off of waivers.