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Australian Nathan Walker scores in dream NHL debut as his Washington Capitals beat Montreal Canadiens 6-1

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SYDNEY-RAISED Nathan Walker became the first Australian to play in the National Hockey League on Saturday – and made it a dream debut by scoring in the Washington Capitals’ 6-1 defeat of the Montreal Canadiens.

Sydney-raised Walker scored Washington’s sixth goal late in the second period, deflecting in a shot from teammate Devante Smith-Pelly.

The 23-year-old Walker had a long wait before entering the scorebook, however. The goal was originally credited to Smith-Pelly, but when the change was announced to the crowd during the third period, Walker’s family waved Australian flags in his honor.

“At first I wasn’t 100 percent sure,” Walker said of his goal, adding he felt in something of a daze in his first game.

“The first couple of shifts I didn’t know what happened.” Walker also got to witness a rare NHL feat, his illustrious teammate Alex Ovechkin scoring four goals to become the first player in 100 years with back- to-back hat tricks to open a season.

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NHL 2020: Draft lottery, New York Rangers, Alexis Lafreniere

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There might not be a frozen envelope involved, but conspiracy theories abounded after the Rangers won the NHL Draft lottery Monday night and with it the right to select consensus top pick, heralded Canadian left winger Alexis Lafreniere.

The Rangers and the seven other teams eliminated from the NHL playoff qualifying round this past week were entered into a live televised lottery for the top pick in October’s draft, held pingpong-ball style.

Normally the NHL conducts its lottery process behind closed doors and reveals the results afterward, as was the case during the first phase of the lottery in June, when it was determined that the top pick would be awarded to a team involved in the league’s restart.

With commissioner Gary Bettman looking on, an unidentified and masked NHL employee was to remove each ball from an attache case, show it to Bettman who verified the logo, and then place it into the lottery machine.



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NHL news: Seattle Kraken, reaction, Washington name

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Owners of the National Hockey League’s Seattle expansion team unveiled Kraken as the club’s nickname on Thursday, the mythical sea beast having been a fan favourite in marketing polls.

The NHL’s 32nd team, set to take the ice in the 2021-22 season, will feature dark and light blue colours and an S-shaped logo that pays tribute to the 1917 Stanley Cup champion Seattle Metropolitans but adds a red eye and tentacle.

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And while most seemed to get behind Kraken, Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser unleashed on Pardon The Interruption.

“My instant thought was this is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,” Wilbon said. “And I started just running through all the nicknames of all the teams in the NHL, NBA, MLB, and NFL, and this is the worst.



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Colby Cave dead at 25: NHL, Oilers star suffered brain bleed

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Edmonton Oilers forward Colby Cave died Saturday morning, days after undergoing emergency surgery for a brain bleed, his family announced.

He was 25.

“It is with great sadness to share the news that our Colby Cave passed away early this morning,” Cave’s family said in a statement.

“I (wife Emily) and both our families are in shock but know our Colby was loved dearly by us, his family and friends, the entire hockey community, and many more. We thank everyone for their prayers during this difficult time.”

On Tuesday, Cave had emergency surgery to remove a colloid cyst that was causing pressure on his brain.

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