AUSTRALIAN NHL trailblazer Nathan Walker, who became the first Aussie to both play and score in the world’s best ice hockey league, has been placed on waivers.
The Washington Capitals made the roster move with the intent of sending him to their American Hockey League affiliate in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
But Walker could be claimed by any NHL club while he goes through the waiver process. If he is not claimed, he will play for the lower-level side, but can be called up again after that if required.
The forward made history when he debuted on October 7 for the Capitals against Montreal, scoring a goal in the second period of a blowout win.
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But Walker has played in just seven games this season and none in over a fortnight.
Washington will learn on Friday at noon (US east coast time) whether they have kept Walker or lost him to another club.
“We looked at it with people getting healthy and that Nate wasn’t getting in the line-up,” Washington coach Barry Trotz said.
“You can only build your game on the ice, so he’s going to see if he clears waivers. He’s got to play. He’s a good young man, but he’s still got to build his game.
“(The) message to him was I’ve known many a players who have been up and down, many a times. Keep developing, keep getting better. That’s the message you want.
“I said to him, everybody knows he’s a real terrific person. You’ve got to make sure your game is — you’re on top of your game and playing lots and getting better all the time. I think we didn’t get him enough games, plain and simple.”