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McPhee on Nylander: 'We're looking for the next generation of players'

I had the chance to catch up with Capitals General Manager George McPhee about yesterday's news that center Michael Nylander had been loaned to the Florida Panthers' AHL affiliate, the Rochester Amerks.

The ongoing search to find somewhere for Nylander, 38, to play for the remainder of his current contract after it became clear he didn't fit with the Capitals has been well documented, but this latest step may be one of the final chapters.

"Right now he doesn't have an interest in playing in Europe so this is the next best solution," McPhee said. "We have to play our younger players [in Hershey], we're looking for the next generation of players and he's past that."

McPhee confirmed that the Capitals will still be responsible for the bulk of Nylander's $3 million salary this season, while the Panthers will pay a nominal fee.

Despite the divide between the Capitals and Nylander that has resulted in the veteran center's second AHL assignment to a team outside the Washington organization, McPhee would not call the decision to sign him to a four-year contract in the summer of 2007 a mistake.

"It just didn't work out. When he hurt his shoulder, we had other players that were better and sort of took that spot and he wasn't playing as well as he could when he came back," McPhee said. "We don't think the contract was a mistake. He was a good player but the injury set him back and he hasn't been the same since. Hopefully he finds his game this year."

Olie Kolzig says he still roots for Washington, and "I'm a Cap through and through."

More notes and quotes from the Capitals' latest preseason victory.

Matt Hendricks further endeared himself to Caps fans last night by dropping the gloves. (Japers' Rink)

Alex Ovechkin gained a pound. Yep, just one. (Alex Ovetjkin)

By Katie Carrera  | September 30, 2010; 9:47 AM ET
Categories:  Michael Nylander, Morning Roundup  
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