With Brian Pothier ready to return to the Washington lineup, the only way to keep from losing a player to the waiver wire was to send Karl Alzner back down to Hershey, and so the Capitals did just that Wednesday.
The Bears, who are currently riding a 10-game win streak, now get two top-notch defensemen back in their lineup when they the team heads to Winnipeg for a Calder Cup rematch this weekend with the Manitoba Moose. Alzner will be reunited with WJC hero John Carlson and patrolling the blueline for Hershey - who have a five-point edge for the best record in the AHL.
As for the Caps, with eight defensemen on the roster, they wanted to give Alzner a chance for more ice time as with the return to health of several blueliners, his minutes were diminishing.
Alzner certainly won't be down for long, although now with Carlson's stock on the rise, the younger American could be the next young defenseman recalled if need be.
In other Caps news, Washington signed Tyler Sloan and Dave Steckel to contract extensions, with Sloan getting a two-year addition and Steckel a three-year one.
The Caps return to action tomorrow night against the Senators at Verizon Center to close a brief two-game homestand.