One d-man out, another one in. Call it Washington’s circle of life.
On Tuesday, blueliner Steve Oleksy cleared waivers and was sent to AHL Hershey, allowing the Caps to recall 22-year-old Nate Schmidt. Oleksy and Schmidt are two of 12 defensemen to have suited up for Washington this season.
“The cycle keeps going and you see things. You don’t want a guy to sit too long,” said head coach Adam Oates, per the Washington Post. “It makes for a difficult position. You put [Oleksy] on waivers because [there’s] no other choice.
“You hope he gets picked up and gets a chance to play. He’s been great about it.”
It’s a tad surprising Oleksy cleared waivers, given he’s played 60-plus games over the last two seasons (and has seven playoff appearances to boot.) What’s more, Oleksy has a very affordable cap hit — $541,667 — and can chip in offensively, having scored two goals and 10 points in 33 games this season.
As for Schmidt, he gets another kick at the can after appearing in 28 games for the Caps earlier this season. He was sent to Hershey after John Erskine returned from injury and appeared in 15 games, scoring six points.