The Capitals will get a look at one of their most promising defensive prospects, but it comes at a high price. Defenseman Madison Bowey was recalled from the Hershey Bears on Saturday and Matt Niskanen was placed on LTIR, the team announced.
Bowey has an impressive preseason and looked as if he had clearly earned a spot on the team, but because of a tight salary cap situation and his waiver exempt status, Bowey started the season in the AHL. Now just five games into the season, the Caps are in need of his services.
Niskanen left Friday’s game against the New Jersey Devils in the second period after appearing to take a slash from forward Jimmy Hayes on the hand. The team has listed his status as week-to-week with an upper body injury.
By placing him on LTIR, Niskanen must now miss a minimum of 10 games and 24 days of the NHL season.
The injury is significant for a team that was already thin on the blue line. Niskanen ranked fourth on the team in playing time per game with 21:09. The injury will put further strain on a defensive core that was already relying far too much on its top four. Despite having never played an NHL game, Bowey may be expected to step in and immediately take on a significant role.
Of the seven defensemen the Capitals had on the roster prior to Niskanen’s injury, only two of them, Niskanen and John Carlson, were right-handed shots. It would not be an ideal scenario for a team to play with five left-handed shots on the defense, meaning the team may need Bowey to step into the lineup as early as Saturday’sgame against the Philadelphia Flyers.\
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