The D.J. King Era in Washington is Over

Friend of the blog Holly F. and King mug for the camera at a Movember event last year.

Vice President and General Manager George McPhee announced today that the Washington Capitals have sent forward D.J. King to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League. The 6’3”, 231-pound horse-lover played in a total of 18 games in Washington over the past two seasons, watching another 85 from the press box. King collected $660,823 during those 85 games he did not play, which should totally bum you out.

Last week King was made available on waivers, signaling his desire to see actual playing time. The move to Hershey may be a continuation of that.

Despite his limited impact on the ice, King was popular among fans, teammates, and media members alike. Here’s just a small sampling of the fan reaction on Twitter:

My daughter will be sad when I tell her about DJ King heading to Hersey.
Nov 06 via Twitter for MacFavoriteRetweetReply

Here’s the backstory on why Clyde’s daughter loves D.J. so much.

Feel bad for DJ King. Guy does everything asked of him. He just wants to play hockey. Maybe the move to Hershey will turn out well. #Caps
Nov 06 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply

When McPhee traded for King way back in the Summer of 2010, he told the media that D.J. “could play.” That was encouraging since we were already dubious on the value of adding an enforcer.

Unfortunately, D.J. never had a moment in Washington that inspired much confidence. He had the skating ability of Happy Gilmore, and when he did actually did drop the gloves, his fights were contrived and didn’t create momentum for the Capitals.

Let’s review. (And just a warning: this is a really, really sad walk down memory lane.)

October 13, 2010 – D.J. King vs. Trevor Gilles

King’s first fight as a Capital was promising. That is until two thundering left crosses from Gilles knocks him from a standing position to one knee. 79% of voters on HockeyFights.com viewed Gilles the winner of the fight.

November 3, 2010 – D.J. King vs. Colton Orr

Watch Colton Orr punch D.J. for about 70 seconds straight. The best comment on YouTube of the fight is from user zegermans750, a Blues’ fan. “Jesus, Kinger used to be better than this.” 82% of voters on HockeyFights.com viewed Orr the winner of the fight.

December 6, 2010 – D.J. King vs. Colton Orr

A month and three days later, King drops the mitts with Orr again this time to exact revenge on a dirty hit on Ovechkin. The fight however, is a snooze-fest as Orr spends a minute-plus throwing punches, while D.J. holds on for dear life. 85% of voters on HockeyFights.com viewed Orr the winner of the fight. Yikes.

January 18, 2011 – D.J. King vs. Jody Shelly

Here watch as King bruises Shelly’s left shoulder pad with punch after punch. 49% of voters on HockeyFights.com viewed this fight as a draw. Hey! Progress!

February 12, 2011 – D.J. King vs. Kevin Westgarth

Two days before Valentine’s Day, King and Westgarth show their love for each other by exchanging a bag full of knuckle sandwiches. No hugging for these love birds. However, King definitely takes a brunt of the shots. 51% of voters on HockeyFights.com viewed Westgarth the winner of this fight.

March 21, 2011 – D.J. King vs. Francis Lessard

In King’s final fight hopefully ever as a Capital, he and Lessard wrap each other up like a burrito and hug it out. Come on, guys. Get a room! 64% of voters on HockeyFights.com viewed this fight as a draw.


King will travel up I-83 to Hershey and try to establish himself on a team which already has a few heavyweight fighters in Joel Rechlicz and Patrick Weller. Where he fits in there is anyone’s guess. For now the Capitals can rely on Matt Hendricks, Jason Chimera, and Big John Erskine for pugilism. And maybe Cody Eakin sticks around for a little bit longer.

Thanks for all the hard work, Kinger. Good luck to you.

  • Filthylaugh

    So… This means that the video game Cup celebration simulation is all a lie! What is this world coming to?!

  • http://twitter.com/MD_DC Brendan Sheridan

    His unfortunate lack of on-ice time meant I got to pick up some EXCELLENT condition skates from the equipment sale. YAHTZEE!

  • Sean

    Don’t forget Brouwer as a fighter. He has 13 career NHL fights and 12 AHL fights. While his shoulder may persuade him to take it easy for a while, he’ll probably get in some scraps at some point.

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