Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny left the AHL Hershey Bears’ 3-0 win over the Lehigh Phantoms on Saturday due to an undisclosed injury. His last shift was around the 12:45 mark of the second period.
“Chalk that up to the weird, weird things of this year. He actually [had incidental contact] with one of the ice scrapers, believe it or not, which I’ve never seen before,” said Bears head coach Spencer Carbery following the game. “It was just a completely unfortunate incident when one of the ice shovelers was coming by the bench. They got tangled up and [Kempny] had to leave the game. So I’m not sure of his status. I don’t think it’s too, too bad, but I don’t want to throw anything out there, injury wise and timeline wise, but just an unfortunate situation with him and not being able to return.”
Saturday was Kempny’s second AHL game after the Capitals assigned him to Hershey on a conditioning stint.
Friday’s game marked Kempny’s first game back after missing the first five months of the season due to an Achilles tendon injury that required surgery in October. The recovery was expected to take 6-8 months.
— Tracey Brewbaker (@bretra88) May 8, 2021
On April 2, 2019, Kempny underwent core-muscle surgery that kept him out six and a half months.
The 30-year-old recorded three goals, 18 points, and a team-leading +19 rating in 58 regular-season games during the 2019-20 season after missing the first eight games while recovering from core muscle surgery.
Kempny recorded one assist and a -2 rating in five Stanley Cup Playoff games, but was a healthy scratch for the final three games of the Capitals’ first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the New York Islanders.
In 232 career NHL games with the Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks, the 30-year-old has recorded 14 goals, 61 points, and a +58 rating.
Kempny recorded a 50.35% Corsi-for percentage and a 49.54% expected goals-for percentage last season.
With the Capitals down to no cap space left, the team would have to figure out a way to make room for Kempny if they plan to play him this season. Left-handed defensemen Brenden Dillon, Dmitry Orlov, ad Zdeno Chara are all on the NHL roster and signed through the end of the season. Kempny is currently on long-term injured reserve and carries a $2.5 million cap hit through next season.
The Capitals conclude the regular season against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday.
By Harrison Brown