Former Washington Capitals forward prospects Riley Barber, who signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Montreal Canadiens on July 1, and Nathan Walker, who signed a two-year, two-way contract with the St. Louis Blues the same day, were placed on waivers by their respective teams, meaning both will not make their teams’ opening-night NHL rosters.
Walker spent a majority of his time in the Capitals organization playing with the AHL’s Hershey Bears but did eventually crack the Capitals lineup, becoming the first Australian to play in the NHL. He posted an assist in three NHL games and 17 goals, 39 points, and a -8 rating in 58 AHL games last season. In 12 career NHL games, the 25-year old posted a goal, two points, and a +1 rating.
Walker was waived by the Capitals twice during his tenure with the organization, the last time coming on November 4, 2018. The forward was placed on waivers the previous season and was subsequently claimed by the Edmonton Oilers on December 1, 2017. The Oilers later placed him on waivers again later that month and the Capitals re-claimed him.
Barber was the Capitals’ sixth-round pick in the 2012 NHL entry draft. He played three NHL games with the team, getting held off of the scoresheet. The 25-year old led the Bears with 31 goals and 60 points in 64 games last season.
The other 30 clubs will have a chance to claim each of these players for free by 12 PM ET on Wednesday. If one or both go unclaimed, they will be assigned to the AHL.
In addition, former Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth, who is currently an unrestricted free agent, was released from his PTO agreement with the Toronto Maple Leafs. In 257 career NHL games, the 31-year old is 105-93-26 with a save percentage of .910, a goals-against-average of 2.71, and 11 shutouts. The Capitals selected him in the second round of the 2006 NHL Draft.
In 134 career games with the Capitals, Neuvirth went 59-41-13 with a save percentage of .910, a goals-against-average of 2.67, and seven shutouts. The Capitals traded him in addition to defenseman Rostislav Klesla to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for goaltender Jaroslav Halak on March 5, 2014.
By Harrison Brown