BALLSTON, Va. - The Washington Capitals placed forward/enforcer D.J. King on waivers Monday. Originally reported by TSN's Bob McKenzie, King admitted after Monday's practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex that he wanted the move to happen and that his "people" spoke to management about King's desire to play.
"I need to play hockey," King said. "If I want to prolong my career in the NHL, I gotta play hockey. No one can prolong their career if they're only playing 15 games a year."
Since arriving in Washington before the start of the 2010-11 season, King has played in only 17 games with only one of them coming this season against the Ottawa Senators October 15. After a 61-game season in 2007-08 with the St. Louis Blues, King hasn't played more than 16 games in a season because of a combination of injuries and healthy scratches.
"I think they're just being fair to me," King said. "I haven't really had the opportunity to play that much. [The Caps are] just seeing what's out there. Maybe I got a chance to go play somewhere else and give me the opportunity to play a little more."
This is the second time that Washington has waived King; in late February, King was waived, but no other team claimed him and he rejoined the Caps for the rest of the season. If King clears waivers by noon Tuesday, he could either return to the Caps or be sent down to AHL Hershey, where his $637,500 cap hit would be removed. Despite the move, head coach Bruce Boudreau didn't necessarily think it was the end of King's stay in Washington.
"We're just trying to find the level of interest at this stage," Boudreau said. "We want him to play, but it might mean nothing. If there's nothing, it doesn't mean sending him down or any of those things. He might be in the lineup [Tuesday] night."