Nylander demoted

The Washington Capitals sent high-salaried forward Michael Nylander to the minor-league Grand Rapids Griffins on loan yesterday, ridding the team of a $4.875 million salary.

Nylander, the team's premier free-agent acquisition in 2007, had not been activated for any of this season's first 33 games.

"It was just playing style," said general manager George McPhee. "It just didn't work out. For lots of reasons, players excel in one place and don't in another. It just wasn't working for him or us last year."

Nylander's patient style of play was incompatible with coach Bruce Boudreau's up-tempo system. Boudreau scratched Nylander eight times last season in an unsuccessful attempt to get the 37-year-old to conform.

Nylander, who had a full "no movement" clause in his contract, agreed to go to the AHL, and the team moved him immediately.

Toting the torch

Brian Burke will take a break from running the Toronto Maple Leafs to run with the Olympic flame.

The U.S.-born Maple Leafs general manager was among a number of runners selected to carry the torch through the Toronto area. Burke's run will come Saturday.

The torch is making its way west in time for the February opening of the Vancouver Games.

Slapshots

Los Angeles Kings right winger Wayne Simmonds had surgery Monday to clean up cartilage damage in his left knee. There is no timetable for his return. . . . Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson will be out indefinitely with a knee injury.

-Inquirer wire services