It’s been a long and winding road for former Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny. The 32-year old blueliner has battled through quite a bit of adversity in recent years, including two serious injuries while with the Capitals, an unfortunate injury in Hershey after colliding with an ice scraper during a re-hab assignment, two bouts with Covid, and now, just two games back in his home country, Kempny sustained a serious laceration to his left leg.
The incident happened at the 12:25 mark of the opening frame in Spartas’s game against Litvinov on Friday night. Kempny was hit with a puck just above the tongue of his skate while blocking a shot, causing the severe laceration.
Kempny left the ice on a stretcher, and was taken to a nearby hospital. After receiving treatment, Kempny returned to the arena in time for the start of the third period, but Sparta officials did not let him back into the extra-league match in Litvínov.
“Michal came from the hospital before the third period and still wanted to play, but of course the doctors didn’t allow it,” Spartan coach Pavel Patera revealed after Friday’s 0:4 defeat.
After the expiration of his contract with the Washington Capitals, Kempny signed a one-year contract with the Seattle Kraken for the 2022-23 season. However, on Oct 11, the Kraken assigned him to their AHL affiliate, the Coachella Valley Firebirds. Kempny subsequently requested the termination of his contract so that he could return home to Czechia.
Kempny signed a two-year contract with HC Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga last Friday. The news came a day after he cleared unconditional waivers to terminate his contract with the Seattle Kraken.
Michal Kempný míří do nemocnice. Hluboká tržná rána na noze. Krev byla po celém ledě. Velká smůla tohodle borce.
Snad bude brzy vše dobrý 🍀 pic.twitter.com/XsiQMGwCGH
— Ondřej Kuchař (@OndraKuchar) October 28, 2022
According to the HC Sparta Praha website, their management had sought Kempny’s services during the summer, but Kempny preferred a contract in the NHL, where he signed with Seattle.
Kempny practiced for the first time last Friday morning and, after lunch, signed a two-year contract with HC Sparta. He made his debut with Sparta on Wednesday.
By Jon Sorensen