Three weeks into the young NHL season, Washington Capitals defenseman John Erskine has still not been cleared by team doctors for contact. Erskine underwent shoulder surgery early in the offseason this past spring and was expected to be cleared for contact within the first few weeks of the season. Erskine was supposed to see a lot of minutes on the blue line this year as a shutdown d-man, but the Capitals haven’t wavered in his absence. Without Erskine in the lineup, the Capitals are off to their best start in franchise history at 7-0-0. Hopefully Erskine will be cleared for contact within a month because the Capitals blue line is only skating with six defensemen at the moment.
It is yet to be announced if Erskine will make the trip with the team this week to Edmonton and Vancouver for a two-game road swing. If Erskine does make the trip, he will most likely not play, seeing as he has yet to see any ice time in a game environment since last year’s playoffs. The Capitals have already taken the precautionary measures of recalling defenseman Sean Collins. Collins will be on the road trip with the team in case one of the defensemen need a game off or get injured.