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Caps put Erskine (neck surgery) on IR

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers - Game Three

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 17: John Erskine #4 of the Washington Capitals looks on against the New York Rangers in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 17, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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On Wednesday, Washington announced that veteran blueliner John Erskine has undergone corrective neck surgery and been placed on injured reserve.

Erskine, 34, hasn’t appeared in a game this season and recently underwent a procedure to repair a disc in his neck. The Caps said he’s scheduled to begin rehab over the next few weeks.

A big, physical defenseman that’s been with Washington for the last nine seasons, Erskine is in the last of a two-year, $3.925 million deal that carries an average annual cap hit of $1.96M. That’s important, because Washington is already operating very close to the salary cap ceiling with two players -- Aaron Volpatti and Dmitry Orlov -- on long-term injured reserve.

For now, Erskine is on regular IR but it’s possible he could be moved to LTIR at some point.