Caps Recall Keith Aucoin from Hershey

December 28, 2010 | Ed Frankovic

The Washington Capitals have recalled center Keith Aucoin from the Hershey Bears in preparation for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Verizon Center (7pm on CSN HD). Here is the full press release followed by my comments on the transaction:

The Washington Capitals have recalled center Keith Aucoin from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today.

Aucoin, 32, has recorded 24 points (8 goals, 16 assists) and 10 penalty minutes in 15 games with Hershey this season. Last season, the 5’9”, 162-pound Aucoin played in nine games for the Capitals, collecting one goal and four assists. Aucoin led the AHL with 106 points (35 goals, 71 assists) and received the Les Cunningham Award as the AHL’s MVP for 2009-10. He has played in 74 career NHL games with the Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes, recording eight goals and 18 assists.

Aucoin, No. 20 with Washington, joined the Capitals organization as a free agent on July 3, 2008, after spending three years in the Carolina organization.

COMMENTS: This likely means that Mathieu Perreault, who broke his nose in Sunday’s contest in Carolina, will not be able to play tonight. So a Capitals lineup that is already thin at the pivot position, their need for a bonafide number two center has been well documented in this blog, gets even thinner. Rookie Marcus Johansson, who really is best as a third line center, took yesterday’s practice off in what Caps Coach Bruce Boudreau termed a maintenance day so he is likely not 100% either. Aucoin, who missed several games in Hershey this season due to a lower body injury and recently returned to the Bears lineup, played well on December 19th when I saw him in Hershey and he was voted the game’s number two star that day (behind d-man Brian Fahey). The smallish center typically brings a spark to the team and I expect tonight will be no different. Aucoin will likely center the second line with Alexander Semin flanked to his right with Brooks Laich the probable option at left wing.