Demoting Alzner avoids Cap hit

SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

Karl Alzner's NHL debut will have to wait.

The Washington Capitals sent the former Calgary Hitmen blueliner to its AHL affiliate in Hershey yesterday.

Caps head coach Bruce Boudreau said Alzner will join the big club during the season.

"We did say that he'll play in the NHL for us at some point this year," Boudreau said. "It might be five games. It might be 65 games. I don't know. But we believe that he's going to be in the NHL this year."

The move was based more on finances than Alzner's performance. The 20-year-old, who was the fifth overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, could earn as much as $1.675 million with incentives.

"It [stinks] that it has to be like that, but everywhere there's rules," Alzner told the Washington Post. "In my situation, there's nothing I can do about it. But I want to play here."

Hitmen GM Kelly Kisio said he was surprised to hear of Alzner's demotion.

"You don't get to see him in action, so you don't know what's going on exactly," Kisio said.

HITMEN FORWARD GIVEN PLANE TICKET

The Hitmen sent rookie forward Edgars Ulescenko back to Latvia yesterday.

The winger failed to pick up a point in his only two WHL appearances.


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