Who does Scott Walker miss the most?
That's easy, Walker says. Everybody.
Walker has been with the Washington Capitals for just two weeks after his trade from the Hurricanes. But his return to the RBC Center for tonight's game had him sounding a bit wistful.
Walker, of course, misses his family, who have stayed in Raleigh. His misses his old teammates and coaches and general manager Jim Rutherford and the Canes' support staff. But Walker also said he misses his neighbors, the parking lot attendant at the RBC Center, the arena security people and the arena workers, and the ... well, you get the idea.
"When you come here as a player, you know the security guy, the Zamboni guy, everybody," he said. "You appreciate so many people who would give you a smile and say hello. You see the same people for four years and you become pretty good friends with them, you know?
"It was not easy to say goodbye to all those people."
Especially his teammates. Last week, when the Canes played in Washington, Walker ventured downtown to eat dinner with a few of the guys. This time, he spent time with his family, which came to the RBC Center today for the morning skate.
Walker, obtained for a seventh-round pick on the March 3 trade deadline, was added as a depth player by the Caps and has been a scratch in a few games. He will be in the lineup tonight.
"I just hope I remember to make a left turn and not a right," he said, noting the hallway that leads to the visitors' locker room.
At 36, Walker has played more than 800 games in the NHL but has not won a Stanley Cup. Last season, the Canes reached the Eastern Conference finals but then were swept by the Pittsburgh Penguins. But with this Capitals team, he should have a chance.
"But as we all know from we went through last year, there's a lot of work to be done," Walker said. "We're on a great journey but we're not near the end. There's a lot of work to be done."