By Sky Kerstein

The Caps held practice this morning before the 3pm NHL trade deadline today and all the healthy Caps were accounted for on the ice.  Roman Hamrlik, whose been a healthy scratch for the least three games, and Mike Knuble, whose been a healthy scratch for the last two games, both practiced today as the Caps prepare to host the New York Islanders tomorrow.

“We are here to do our job and this is part of the game,”  defenseman Roman Hamrlik said following practice today.

Mike Knuble was skating with the first line today, but doesn’t think he’ll be on that line very long.

“I imagine Keith [Aucoin] will be back tomorrow,”  Knuble said.   “I Imagine, that’s what I assume would happen that he’d be back tomorrow, just kind of filling his spot for a day.”

Aucoin was sent down to AHL Hershey yesterday for two reasons, one to help out the salary cap a little bit and the other so he qualifies to play with AHL Hershey in the playoffs.

“It’s a game-time decision, we don’t know whose in yet,”  Hunter said on Knuble’s remarks.

But Knuble will be watching all the news today as the trades come down.

“I’m not standing there with my head in the sand, I know what the year I’ve had and how things have gone of late,”  Knuble said on waiting out the trade deadline today.  “You wait, got 3 [or] 4 hours here, Dave Steckel got his call at 3:30, after it already ended you just have to kind of to be in the boat till 3:30, 4 o’clock.”

Both Roman Hamrlik and Mike Knuble say they haven’t talked to Capitals General Manager George McPhee.

Nicklas Backstrom, who hasn’t played since January 3rd with a concussion, was placed on long term injured reserve earlier today to free up some cap space for the Caps to make some moves.  Since it’s retroactive, Backstrom can return at any time if the Caps have enough salary cap room to fit his contract.  In the playoffs there is no salary cap, so Backstrom could return then as well.

“It was a move cause he wasn’t practicing,”  Capitals Head Coach Dale Hunter said on why the move was made.

The Caps forward lines today looked like: Ovechkin-Johansson-Knuble, Hendricks-Laich-Brouwer, Chimera-Perreault-Semin, Beagle-Halpern-Ward.

Tomas Vokoun, who hasn’t played in two games, practiced today and said he hasn’t been asked to waive his no-movement clause.

Listen here to what Dale Hunter, Mike Knuble, Roman Hamrlik, Tomas Vokoun, Alex Ovechkin, Dennis Wideman & Joel Ward had to say following practice today.

Dale Hunter Practice Audio

Mike Knuble Practice Audio

Roman Hamrlik Practice Audio

Alex Ovechkin Practice Audio

Dennis Wideman Practice Audio

Joel Ward Practice Audio


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