The Seattle Kraken signed former Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny to a one-year, $750,000 contract on Sunday after the 31-year-old became an unrestricted free agent on July 13.
#SeaKraken have signed UFA d-man Michal Kempný
1 year / 1-way contract
Kempný spent the last four seasons with Washington.https://t.co/iuEFHeAw59
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) July 24, 2022
Kempny recorded a goal, two points, -3 rating, 45.48% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, 47.05% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and a 45.7% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage in 15 NHL games and seven assists and a -3 rating in 24 AHL games last season. He averaged 15:50 per game, including 1:02 while shorthanded, when up with the Capitals.
Kempny was acquired by the Capitals from the Chicago Blackhawks at the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 2018 third-round pick. After preparing to leave the NHL since the Blackhawks did not give him much opportunity, Kempny became a fixture on the Capitals’ blueline next to John Carlson as he earned two goals and five points while averaging 17:42 (fourth among the team’s defensemen), including 14 seconds on the penalty kill, and playing all 24 games during the Capitals’ run to their first Stanley Cup in 2018.
After signing a four-year contract before he was set to hit the unrestricted free agent market in 2018, Kempny set career-highs in goals (six), assists (19), points (25), plus-minus (+24), and games-played (71) the next season before undergoing hamstring surgery on April 2, 2019.
Kempny was not the same player after that as he was scratched for the final three games of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs and underwent another surgery on his Achilles’ tendon suffered in offseason training on October 6, 2020.
He would not play any games with the Capitals in 2020-21 but appeared in two games with the Bears before getting hurt again at the end of the regular season.
After a rough and high event preseason last fall, Kempny started the season with the Bears but eventually was recalled to the NHL and primarily served as the Capitals’ eighth defenseman.
He finished his tenure with the Capitals with 12 goals, 48 points, and a +41 rating in 166 regular-season games. Kempny earned one assist and a -2 rating in five postseason outings in 2020.
The Kraken signed left-wing Andre Burakovsky to a five-year contract on July 13 and goaltender Philipp Grubauer last offseason from the Capitals’ 2018 Stanley Cup Championship roster. They also inked defenseman Justin Schultz to a two-year contract after he spent the last two seasons in Washington.
Kempny, Burakovsky, Grubauer, and the Kraken will host the Capitals on Thursday, December 1 before visiting the district for the lone time this season eight days later.
By Harrison Brown