Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny has been working hard preparing for the upcoming season. Following a summer of off-ice workouts, Kempny returned to the ice this past week to practice with Motor České Budějovice of the Czech Extraliga, the highest-level ice hockey league in the Czech Republic.
So what brought him to the south of Bohemia to skate? “I have a fitness trainer here. It’s great that they came out to meet me at the club and I can go out on the ice with the boys. I needed to combine the preparation in the gym with ice and I’m glad that it turned out like this,” said Kempny in an interview for the Motor České Budějovice website.
Kempny is just glad to be back on the ice. “I have to work on everything I have – my leg is still holding and everything is as it should be. I enjoy being on the ice, working and getting ready for the next season,” said Kempny. “I’ve been here since Monday, but I’m leaving now. I will be in Prague next week, so maybe the following week I will be back again.”
Kempny suffered an Achilles injury while working out last October, which ultimately required surgery. After six months of rehabilitation, Kempny fought his way back to play in two games for AHL Hershey before his comeback was derailed when he collided with one of the ice maintenance crew during a timeout in a game on May 8.
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 the core muscle surgery.
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.
By Jon Sorensen