Tuesday afternoon, former Capitals forward Nathan Walker was put on waivers by the Edmonton Oilers.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman was the first to report the news.
After arriving in Calgary over the weekend to meet his new team, former Capital Nathan Walker suited up for his first practice with his new team Monday. Walker was claimed by the Edmonton Oilers on Friday after the Capitals tried to sneak the Australian forward through waivers.
“Today wasn’t an easy practice and he handled himself well,” Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. “He looks like a hungry player.”
Walker seemed happy and excited about his new opportunity after only getting an opportunity to play in seven of the Capitals first 27 games this season.
“Hopefully I can come in and try to provide a spark for the guys here and get some points going,” Walker said.
Nathan Walker was claimed at noon Friday by the Edmonton Oilers.
The classy Australian forward took to Instagram Friday afternoon to share his feelings about the matter. Walker thanked the Capitals for his big break and revealed his excitement about playing for the Oilers.
Another blunder by the Capitals organization has cost the team more of its depth.
Capitals prospect Nathan Walker has been claimed by the Edmonton Oilers after being put on waivers by Washington on Thursday. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman was the first to report the news.
It didn’t take a long time for Nathan Walker to become a fan favorite in Washington. On October 7, the forward became the first Australian to ever play and score in the NHL. But after a string of successful games, Walker was benched and put in Barry Trotz’s dog house. Despite several injuries among the Caps forwards, Walker has played in only one of the team’s last nine games.
Thursday morning, Walker’s first stint in the NHL ended – at least with the Capitals – as the team announced that they were attempting to send the prospect back down to AHL Hershey. The Caps 2014 third-round pick can be claimed by any NHL team for the next 24 hours.
On Monday, the Capitals made their annual visit to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. The visit coincides with Hockey Fights Cancer month, an initiative that unites the hockey community in support of cancer patients and their families.
Throughout the afternoon, the Capitals, wearing their lavender jerseys, interacted with children and their families while signing autographs and posing for photos.
“I think it’s important to give back,” John Carlson said to Monumental Sports Network’s Ben Brown. “When you set out on an initiative like Hockey Fights Cancer, you can’t just say it. You have to do it. It’s important to be there for people, and the kids who were in the unit I visited today really enjoyed having us there whether they were hockey fans or not. It’s all about being light and being fun and enjoying our time there.”
The Washington Capitals like to keep things close to the vest, not wanting to divulge information that could give their opponents any advantage — or laughs apparently.
After the team’s practice Tuesday morning at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, reporters worked doggedly to get the scoop of the day: a full account of the team’s annual Halloween party Monday night.
Pictures of the event were curiously limited this year, as most players’ social media accounts fell silent. Some images, however, did find their way on the Internet, including one of a person dressed in a kangaroo costume posted by Nathan Walker‘s fiancée. The following morning, Walker, the first Australian to play in the NHL, revealed that he was the giant anthropomorphic marsupial at the party.
“I think there’s only one explanation,” Walker said when asked how he came up with the idea. “I just thought it suited the party.”
After several years of good fortune in regards to injuries, the Washington Capitals have been bit by the injury bug early in the 2017-18 season. Matt Niskanen has missed substantial time in the opening month of the season due to an upper body injury and his absence on the backline has been harrowing. The team’s injuries at forward have also challenged the team’s overall depth. Nicklas Backstrom, Andre Burakovsky, Brett Connolly, and Tyler Graovac have all missed time due to injury or sickness.
Considering that context, Barry Trotz’s decision to scratch Nathan Walker lately is all the more confounding.
On Monday, the Washington Capitals participated in their annual canine calendar photoshoot with Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. Taking photos for the 2018 calendar, the Caps wore suits while the dogs dressed equally as fancy with bow ties and pearls. Some pups even wore, prepare yourself for this, scarfs.
Capitals players Nicklas Backstrom, Madison Bowey, Alex Chiasson, Christian Djoos, Tyler Graovac, Philipp Grubauer, Braden Holtby, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Aaron Ness, Dmitry Orlov, Devante Smith-Pelly, Jakub Vrana, Nathan Walker, and Tom Wilson were all photographed with dogs available for adoption through Homeward Trails. The dogs won’t be available for long after their day in the spotlight!
Jay Beagle, John Carlson, Taylor Chorney, Brett Connolly, Lars Eller, Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik, TJ Oshie, and Alex Ovechkin all posed with their own dogs.
Aside from the puppies (one of which Tyler Graovac tried to smuggle, or maybe even snuggle out in his pocket), Ovechkin’s two-year-old, 105-pound black lab Blake was definitely the star of the day.
While the official photos won’t be seen until the release of the calendar on November 20, we hope these adorable photos will hold you over until then.
Nine games into the season, there’s been some good and some bad from the Washington Capitals. There’s certainly been more bad than we’re accustomed to from a team that has been a juggernaut over the last two seasons. Is nine games enough to be be truly concerned about the issues we’ve seen? Well, yes and no.
If you look back at our first snapshot from last season, done after the 11th game of the season, you can see that two of the main takeaways held up over the course of the season:
But there’s also reason to use caution instead of making sweeping generalizations about the Caps struggles early in the season:
This Caps team almost certainly won’t end up being as good as they were during the last two regular seasons, but this doesn’t mean the Caps are destined to be bad. There’s a middle ground between running away with the President’s Trophy and needing to trade away your stars and rebuild. This season might be more frustrating than the last two, but it’s too early to write off a team that’s 4-4-1 through nine games.
Welcome back to the snapshot, friends. LET US DO THE NUMBERS.
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