Stanislav Galiev was among four players cut from the Capitals' training camp roster on Saturday. It was a surprising move, but a necessary one for both the team and the player according to head coach Barry Trotz.
"Based on looking at our roster, where Stan was, just wasn't seeing enough impact in the game," Trotz said. "I talked to Stan about that and we felt that we need him to play. If I had to start our 12 forwards, he wouldn't be in there so he's in the same boat he was last year."
Last year there was no clear spot for Galiev in the lineup due to the team's loaded roster. If the Caps wanted to send him back to Hershey, however, it meant exposing him to waivers. The result was that Galiev spent the year in hockey limbo. He remained on the NHL roster for the entire season but appeared in only 24 games.
The loss of Jason Chimera to free agency looked like it would leave a spot for him, but the signing of Brett Connolly and the emergence of Zach Sanford meant once again there was no room for Galiev.
Instead of keeping the 24-year-old forward in the NHL just to be a healthy scratch, however, this time the Caps elected to send him to Hershey, thus risking losing him on waivers.
"Probably the biggest thing is that we feel more comfortable with our depth then we have in the past," Trotz said. "That would be the answer. If we didn't feel comfortable, we probably wouldn't do it."
But while it may be a risk, the move was not entirely a business decision.
Moving back to the AHL offers consistent playing time to Galiev which he needs to reignite his game. Should his play improve, that's good both for the Caps and the player.
"We've got to get Stan playing," Trotz said. "He's got to find his game. And once he finds his game, then we might have a real good asset. We're not going to know that unless he finds his game. The only way to do that is to play."
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