The number of Capitals who have arrived for Sunday’s start of training camp has grown to 20.
On Thursday, forwards Brooks Laich, Joel Ward and Joey Crabb and defensemen Cam Schilling and Tom Poti joined the other Caps who have been skating at Kettler Capitals Iceplex this week.
For those counting, that leaves just three players – forward Wojtek Wolski, defenseman Roman Hamrlik and goaltender Michal Neuvirth – that have not yet reported for informal workouts.
Laich, who returned from Switzerland in November with an injury to his groin area, skated on his own for nearly an hour before his teammates hit the ice. The power at Kettler went out just as Laich hit the ice, forcing the 29-year-old center to skate in the dark.
“Just getting in a little extra work,” said Laich. “Just making sure that everything’s good to go. That was all. Nothing major.”
Asked if he is healthy, Laich laughed.
“I feel healthy. I feel good,” he said. “We’ll see. There are just a few things to work on to get better. Camp starts on Sunday and that’s exciting for us.”
Laich said he enjoyed playing in Switzerland, but when asked about his injury he said, “I don’t want to get into that. That’s behind us now so I don’t think I need to worry about it.”
In other injury news, Ward underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia at the end of July and faced a recovery time of 8-12 weeks. He said the extra time off because of the lockout allowed him to heal completely and begin skating in Toronto.
“It worked out really well,” Ward said. “The only thing I haven’t had is body contact and that’s what I’m looking forward to getting involved in.”
Ward said his injury affected his skating in the final weeks of the regular season, when former coach Dale Hunter kept him out of the lineup and questioned whether he was in shape.
Asked if that was an unfair criticism, Ward said, “Yeah, I mean, it was tough.
“I had it for a long time but I wanted to get in the lineup. You’re trying to be discreet about it because you don’t want to pull yourself out of the lineup. It was mentally tough but you never want to be out of the lineup and you try not to make excuses.”
Schilling, 24, was signed by the Caps out of Miami University of Ohio last spring. In 32 games for the Hershey Bears this season he had three goals, four assists, 31 penalty minutes and was a plus-6. He said he was pleasantly surprised to be invited to training camp.
“I had no clue,” Schilling said. “I just want to take it day by day.”
The Capitals confirmed on Thursday that burly right wing Tom Wilson has been invited to participate in training camp. Taken 16th overall in the 2012 NHL draft, Wilson has 12 goals, 22 assists and 59 penalty minutes in 30 games for the Plymouth Whalers. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder is expected to play for Plymouth Friday night and arrive at Kettler sometime Saturday.