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Hockey Heaven: Articles
Pirates should benefit from Caps' signing

Thursday, July 26, 2001
By JENN MENENDEZ, Portland Press Herald Writer

Peter Ferraro was looking for a new start.

And the Washington Capitals were waiting to snag him.

Ferraro, a proven goal scorer with 88 NHL games, two championships and an Olympic appearance in 1994 to his name, signed a one-year deal with Washington this week. He could become the biggest score of the summer for the Portland Pirates, where he is likely to play.

The Capitals are expected to announce the deal officially today.

Ferraro, 28, who played at the University of Maine, has spent most of the last two years with the Providence Bruins. He led that team to a championship in 1999 and was named playoff MVP. He has scored more than 20 goals in six of his seven pro seasons.

He led Providence in points last season with 26 goals and 45 assists. In his top-scoring year, he had 101 points with Binghamton in the 1995-96 season.

"My main goal and intention is to try to go in and make the team in Washington," said Ferraro. "I'm hoping to get the opportunity to play in the NHL, whether it's as a depth guy and someone to step in, or if I have to play in the minors, I have to play in the minors.

"I'm looking forward to it and I've heard very good things about the whole organization."

Pirates Coach Glen Hanlon said he, assistant coach Mark Kumpel and Shawn Simpson, Washington's director of hockey operations, made a list of three things they were looking to acquire this summer: speed, a physical presence and a player with experience winning championships.

"Then we made a short list of players who had all those characteristics," said Hanlon. "(Ferraro's) name was at the top of the list."

Ferraro, at 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, is quick and cunning. He has scored 182 goals and 225 assists in 394 minor-league games.

"He's an antagonistic guy that really irritated you. Those are the types you really hate and despise at the end of the night," said Hanlon. "We're bringing him in here to put some numbers up on the board. He's played hard in Providence. . . . We know what we're getting."

Ferraro signed with the Boston Bruins as a free agent in 1998, playing in 48 games and scoring 14 points that year. But he had a limited role with Boston the last two seasons and was looking forward to a chance with a new club.

"I enjoyed my time in the organization and regret nothing," said Ferraro, "but I felt as though in some aspects I was shortchanged in terms of getting an opportunity. . . . My agent was saying that Washington was a team that was persistent when I was free."

Ferraro, who has played against Portland many times in the last three years, won a championship with the University of Maine in 1993 before leaving to join the U.S. national team.

"I've heard nothing but great things about (Hanlon)," said Ferraro. "And I did spend a mild amount of time in Maine. It's a beautiful state. I've given it some thought."

He's the seventh former UMaine player since 1993 to sign with the Caps.

While Ferraro knows he may spend considerable time in Portland next year, he will continue trying to land a spot with Washington.

"I don't think there's a set time of when you get a consistent shot in the NHL," said Ferraro. "Whether I'm 29, 30, 35, I'll still never lose sight of playing in the NHL. It's been a dream since I was 6 years old, and I'm not going to resort to going to Europe or playing in the minors.

"Not to downgrade those levels, they're tremendous steppingstones, but my main goal is to play in the NHL."

Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at:

Copyright 2001 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.

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