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Nathan Walker is a Washington Capital once again

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Nathan Walker is a Washington Capital once again

Washington claimed Walker off waivers from Edmonton on Wednesday and, in a bit of an unexpected twist, he will report to the Caps, not the minor league Hershey Bears.

The NHL’s annual holiday roster freeze prevented the team from sending Walker directly to the American Hockey League. The freeze began Tuesday and expires Dec. 28. Once the freeze is lifted, the Caps will reevaluate Walker’s situation.


Whatever ultimately happens, a whole lot of Caps supporters will happily welcome the left wing back to the organization.

Although Walker only appeared in seven games for the Caps this season, he quickly established himself as a fan favorite for a couple of reasons: the 5-foot-9, 186-pounder plays with a ton of energy and enthusiasm and, of course, the novelty of the whole thing. On Oct. 7 at Capital One Arena, Walker, to much fanfare, became the first Australian to suit up for an NHL game.

Despite his popularity with folks in the stands, the coaching staff was not as enamored with Walker. The 23-year-old scored in his debut but never was able to gain a foothold in Coach Barry Trotz’s lineup and, on Nov. 30, the team placed Walker on waivers with the intention of sending him to Hershey to get some much needed playing time.

Just one problem: he didn’t clear.

Walker was claimed by Edmonton. He thanked the Caps on social media for the opportunity that he was given here and was hopeful of getting his NHL career back on track with the Oilers.

But that didn’t happen, either.

Walker saw only limited action in two games with the Oilers, and on Tuesday he was placed back on waivers—opening the door for Washington to reclaim their 2014 third round pick, which they did.

It’s not immediately clear where—or even if—Walker fits into the Capitals’ immediate plans. The team already has 13 healthy forwards and on Tuesday had to scratch veteran Devante Smith-Pelly to accommodate the return of T.J. Oshie from injury. It should also be noted that the team is pressed up against the salary cap ceiling and Trotz prefers to keep only one extra forward, not two.

But we do know this much: Capitals GM Brian MacLellan thought highly enough of Walker to bring the prospect back for another shot. What Walker does with it, though, is up to him.


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Brian MacLellan got his day with the Stanley Cup over the weekend

Brian MacLellan got his day with the Stanley Cup over the weekend

Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan finally got his day. 

Over the weekend, MacLellan played host to the Stanley Cup, taking it home to his offseason house in Minnesota. 

MacLellan brought the Cup to Powderhorn Park, where a youth hockey tournament was being put on by the Herb Brooks Foundation. 

MacLellean talked with local media about the experience:

"It's a fun day, a fun day to see people react to the Cup," MacLellan told FOX 9 TV. "You know, it brings a lot of smiles to people's faces, people that sometimes don't get a chance to get close to it are getting an opportunity and it's fun to watch them enjoy it."


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This Caps Stanley Cup tattoo has everyone's beat


This Caps Stanley Cup tattoo has everyone's beat

Since the Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup for the first time over one month ago, Caps fans, (and players), have rushed to their local tattoo parlor to get some ink commemorating the win.

We've seen the classic Capitals logo with the Stanley Cup, but nothing that comes close to the masterpiece that is Shane Peacher's tattoo.

Peacher tweeted to Joe B and Courtney Laughlin the finished tat: a work of art featuring Alex Ovechkin kissing the Stanley Cup for the first time as it's hoisted over his head.

Joe B replied making sure Shane had enough room on his other tricep for next year.

Shane replied that he's thinking of Evgeny Kuznetsov's iconic celebration that has since been dubbed the "birdman."

Shane got his Caps tattoo at the Helix Tattoo Lodge in Rising Sun, Maryland, by tattoo artist, Justin Holcombe.