The Capitals on Monday placed D.J. King on waivers to gauge interest level around the league after the enforcer asked for the team to respect his desire to play.
“I think they’re just being fair to me. I haven’t really had the opportunity to play that much,” King said. “They’re 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.”
King said he had someone in his camp (read: agent David Kaye) – asked the Caps to make some sort of move if he wasn’t going to be in the lineup.
“I just asked for them to respect I need to play hockey, and they’re doing it,” he said. “If I wasn’t playing here, just to give me a chance to play somewhere else.”
Coach Bruce Boudreau alluded to the fact that King would not be bound for Hershey if he clears waivers at noon Tuesday.
“We’re just, I think, trying to find the level of interest at this stage. We want him to play,” Boudreau said. “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.”
King has appeared in just one of the Caps’ nine games, playing 6:58 against the Senators. He did not get into a fight that game. Boudreau said he was not in the lineup the other eight because of “coach’s decision.”
More than anything else, King wants ice time.
“I need to play hockey,” he said. “If I want to prolong my career in the NHL, I’ve got to play hockey. No one can prolong their career if they’re only playing 15 games a year.”
Messages left with Kaye were not immediately returned. King is the Caps’ only healthy extra forward with Jay Beagle out.