Michal Kempny has agreed to a multi-year deal to re-sign with the Washington Capitals, according multiple reports. Darren Dreger of TSN was the first to report the news while Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post confirmed the report.
Michal Kempny won’t be leaving Washington. Sources say he’s agreed to a multi year deal, despite outside interest, to stay with the Caps.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 29, 2018
Can confirm. Caps will have their top four defensemen back next season. https://t.co/fFrV7weC8q
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) June 29, 2018
The Capitals, who won their first-ever Stanley Cup earlier this month, has maneuvered their way to retain key pieces that helped them become champions. Kempny, 27, now joins top defenseman John Carlson and forward Devante Smith-Pelly who spurned free agency to re-sign with the Capitals.
Washington acquired Kempny in a February trade from the Chicago Blackhawks for a third-round pick. The addition of Kempny helped sure the Capitals’ struggling defense as he was paired with Carlson as top defensive duo.
Kempny played an instrumental role during the playoffs, collecting five points in 24 games. Kempny told TV NOVA’s Roman Jedlicka that it was his “priority” to re-sign with the Capitals because he “did not want to change what worked” prior to free agency. Kempny entered the NHL in 2016 as an undrafted free agent.
The Capitals now have their top four defensemen back for next season and five of six. The lone omission is Brooks Orpik, who was packaged into the Philipp Grubauer trade to Colorado to create salary cap space to get Carlson’s eight-year, $64 million deal done. The Avalanche are expected to buyout Orpik’s contract (one year remaining at $5.5 million) and general manager Brain MacLellan has stated the Capitals would be interested in bringing back Orpik.
With Kempny re-signing, and assuming Wilson re-signs (zero reason to think he won’t), the Caps will be returning at least 11 of their top 12 forwards (Beagle still in the wind), five of their top six D (Orpik), and their #1 goalie. Pretty pretty good, Champs!
— Japers' Rink 🏆 (@JapersRink) June 29, 2018
The Capitals now can focus their attention to working out a deal with restricted free agent Tom Wilson. Checking off the three biggest potential threats to lose in free agency in Carlson, Smith-Pelly, and now Kempny, Washington is expected to land an accepting deal with Wilson.