Seven weeks after making hockey history, Nathan Walker was waived by the Caps on Thursday with the intention of sending him to Hershey.
If the 23-year-old winger clears waivers, he’ll rejoin the Bears, the AHL team for whom he played the past four seasons.
Walker made Washington’s opening night roster and then, after sitting out the season opener, became the first Australian to suit up in an NHL game when he made his debut against Montreal on Oct. 7. He even scored in that game, thanks to a Devante Smith-Pelly shot deflecting in off of him.
Look what I found hanging in the international section of the HHOF earlier today—the jersey Nathan Walker wore when he became the first Australian to suit up in the NHL. pic.twitter.com/i1j4hYq6nt— Tarik El-Bashir⌨️🎙🏒 (@TarikNBCS) November 25, 2017
Walker, however, was unable to become a mainstay in Coach Barry Trotz’s lineup. He appeared in just seven of the Caps’ 25 games and played in back-to-back contests only once. Over the past nine games, in fact, Walker suited up just once.
And, as Trotz said, there’s only one way to get better.
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“You can only build your game on the ice, so [we're] going to see if he clears waivers,” Trotz said after the morning skate. “He's gotta play. He's a good young man, but he's still got to build his game.”
Teams have until noon on Friday to put a claim in on Walker, who had a goal, no assists and four shots on net.