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Capitals re-sign Brenden Dillon for 4 years; lose Kempny for 6-8 months

NHL Free Agency

TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 09: Brenden Dillon #4 of the Washington Capitals plays the puck against the Boston Bruins during the second period in an Eastern Conference Round Robin game during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff at Scotiabank Arena on August 09, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

It was a day of good news and bad news for the Washington Capitals’ defense on Tuesday.

The good news: They were able to re-sign pending unrestricted free agent Brenden Dillon to a four-year contract that will pay him $3.9 million per season.

The bad news: They announced that Michal Kempny is going to be sidelined for the next six-to-eight months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon.

Let’s start with the Dillon contract.

The Capitals acquired him from the San Jose Sharks at this year’s trade deadline, getting an up close look at him for 18 games (10 regular season, 18 postseason games). He will be 30 years old at the start of the 2020-21 season. He is not going to be a major factor in the team’s offense, but he is a very reliable shutdown defensive presence on the blue line. There is some risk a couple of years down the road (how well is he going to age over the next four years?) but the $3.9 million salary cap hit should be very manageable for the next couple of years.

As for Kempny, he has spent the past two-and-a-half years with the Capitals and is coming off a three goal, 15 assist season in 58 games. That six-to-eight month timeline is obviously concerning because that could remove him from the team’s lineup for most -- if not all -- of the 2020-21 season, depending on when it begins and what it looks like.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.