Core of Caps team miss start of training camp for World Cup

ARLINGTON, Va. — With the ongoing World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, the Capitals opened training camp Friday without nine regulars, including captain Alex Ovechkin.

Head coach Barry Trotz is also missing the start of camp while serving as an assistant with Team Canada. Capitals associate coach Todd Reirden will run training camp until Trotz returns.

Among the notables who have already reported to camp, newcomer Lars Eller skated alongside Justin Williams and Marcus Johansson in the first practice session of the day.

The Capitals acquired Eller from the Montreal Canadiens in the offseason to serve as their third-line center. Williams, who turns 36 next month, had 22 goals and 52 points in 82 games last season, playing primarily on the second line.

One area the Capitals hope to improve on this season is offensive depth throughout the lineup. General Manager Brian MacLellan has said that he would like to build a reliable top nine — three lines that can be counted on to produce offensively — as opposed to the traditional top six.

Defenseman Karl Alzner also practiced on day one of camp after undergoing offseason sports hernia surgery. He did not take part in the mandatory skate test.

The Capitals open preseason play Monday at the Verizon Center against the Carolina Hurricanes.

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