Capitals reassign Lapierre, recall Protas and Fucale in flurry of roster moves

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Capitals reassign Lapierre, recall Protas and Fucale originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Capitals made a flurry of roster moves on Wednesday as the team continues to deal with several injuries. Hendrix Lapierre was reassigned to Acadie-Bathurst, his junior team in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In addition, forward Aliaksei Protas and goalie Zach Fucale were recalled from AHL Hershey and Nic Dowd was placed on injured reserve.

With Dowd on IR, the Caps are now down four forwards with Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie and Anthony Mantha also out injured. The addition of Protas gives the Caps 12 forwards making it likely we see the team play with four rookie forwards in the lineup on Thursday (Protas, Connor McMichael, Brett Leason, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby).

One forward who will not be suiting up for the Caps on Thursday will be Lapierre. He scored in his NHL debut, but has not registered a point since then and played in six of the team's first 12 games.

By reassigning Lapierre now, it prevents him from reaching the 10-game threshold that would have kicked in the first year of his entry-level contract. His contract will now slide to next season. At the end of the day, it just was not worth burning a year of his contract so that Lapierre could play every other game for less than 10 minutes.

The Caps also added a third goalie with Fucale now on the roster. A late collision in Monday's game appeared to leave Vanecek a bit banged up. He remained in the game, but gingerly took congratulations from the teammates afterward and appeared to be barely lifting his left arm.

Vanecek was on the ice Wednesday for practice so Fucale's recall may just be a precaution.