Hamrlik unsure why he’s odd man out in Caps’ D rotation

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Roman Hamrlik hasn’t played a game for the Washington Capitals since Jan. 24, and even with John Erskine’s suspension, it sounds like he’ll stay in street clothes.

The $3.5 million defenseman didn’t have an answer for why he hasn’t cracked the team’s top six defenseman lately, according to the Washington Times.

“I don’t know. I don’t know,” Hamrlik said. “I don’t know what to tell you.”

Head coach Adam Oates said “he’s a big boy; he’ll get a chance,” but didn’t imply that the 39-year-old blueliner needs to wow him in practice to get back into the mix.

“He doesn’t need to do anything [in practice],” Oates said. “Guys have been playing good hockey, so I don’t think it’s fair to take them out right now.”

Then again, one might point to Washington’s 33 goals allowed in nine games, which is tied with the Buffalo Sabres for the NHL’s worst mark as of this moment.

Hamrlik has played three games so far this season, registering an assist and a -1 rating. He’s also the guy who made quite the rumbling about ending the lockout, yet it’s doubtful that would make a big difference in Oates’ lineup choices.