The Washington Capitals sent defenseman Alexander Urbom to the AHL on Tuesday.
Head coach Adam Oates explains to the Washington Post that the demotion comes down to “roster issues.”
“His game was good early and then just a few mistakes here and there and all of a sudden you get bypassed. [John Erskine] comes back, you get bypassed. [Dmitry Orlov] comes up and plays good,” Oates said. “That’s the nature of the game and it’s very difficult, it creates difficult decisions and he was the odd man out all of a sudden and we had to make decisions accordingly.”
It’s not like the 23-year-old will be that sorely missed, however, as he only has two points in 20 games and had been averaging a measly 14:36 minutes per game.
Washington plays next against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.
The Washington Capitals have been great this year for defensemen looking to play their first NHL game. Connor Carrick and Nate Schmidt made their league debuts with the team earlier this season and now another will join them tonight.
Capitals 2009 fourth-round pick Patrick Wey will play in his first NHL game tonight against the Nashville Predators as CSNWashington.com’s Chuck Gormley shares. For Wey, it’s an extra special night given that he started the season in the ECHL with the Reading Royals.
Wey is expected to be paired up with Dmitry Orlov on the blue line giving the Caps a rather NHL-inexperienced third pairing. The team has had to dance around injuries to experienced defensemen John Erskine and Jack Hillen and cycling in others like Alexander Urbom and Steve Oleksy.
Getting Wey in against the low-scoring Predators isn’t a bad idea.
Jack Hillen won’t be returning from Calgary Flames forward Lance Bouma’s hit anytime soon. He will have surgery today and is projected to be sidelined for months, reports Washington Post writer Katie Carrera.
Hillen sustained the injury near the midway point of the first period in Washington’s 5-4 shootout victory on Thursday. The 27-year-old defenseman stayed on his feet and attempted to skate off after the initial check, but he couldn’t seem to put any weight on his leg and fell to the ice.
Bouma wasn’t penalized for the hit itself, but he got into a fight with Tom Wilson as a result:
This is another unfortunate blow for Hillen, who missed roughly half of the 2013 campaign with an upper-body injury. This injury also increases the odds that 22-year-old defenseman Alexander Urbom will make his Capitals debut soon after being claimed off waivers from the New Jersey Devils.