Despite the four day long respite the Capitals enjoyed earlier this week, the team appears to still be pretty banged up. Boyd Gordon's back is still "balky" (or "wonky", depending who you ask), as is Jose Theodore's, John Erskine's out of the lineup with a hand injury, and to top it all off Alexander Semin is day-to-day with a cold or flu bug. The good news is that help should be arriving shortly in the form of winger Tomas Fleischmann, who was cleared for contact on Tuesday and is eligible to return on Tuesday against the Flyers. The bad news, for at least one guy currently on the roster, is that unless something happens between now and Tuesday the team's going to have move someone in order to open up a roster spot for Fleischmann.
For the sake of argument, let's put aside the possibility of another Cap making a trip to IR or a last-minute trade going down and assume the team deals with this roster problem by moving one of their current players to Hershey. Odds are the guy who get's the short end of the stick on this one is either going to be Quintin Laing or Tyler Sloan. But which one will it be? And, perhaps more interestingly, which one should it be?
To kick the discussion off, let's take a look at each player's numbers with the Caps:
|Tyler Sloan ||GP||G||A||P||+/-||PIM||PPG||SHG||GWG||SOG||PCT||Hits||Blks||GV||TK||TOI|
In short, the numbers say these guys are who we think they are: solid AHL players who can fill in adequately at the NHL level but probably aren't good enough to play a significant role on a good NHL team. Neither is particularly likely to be lost on waivers and neither is an integral enough part of the Capitals that the team is going to suffer greatly if they're lost, either to waivers or to the AHL.
That, however, is not to say that the two players are interchangeable. Sloan skates well, plays a position where depth is paramount, and can fill in on the wing. Laing brings something the Capitals lack (grit from a forward), can help in an area where the team could use some improvement (the penalty kill), and plays a position where the team isn't quite as deep. In addition, Laing's cap is $500,000, while Sloan's is $640,000 - a difference that's small, but not negligible. The choice on who to keep might not be clear, but it's no coin flip either.