The Capitals and defenseman Michal Kempny have agreed to a multi-year contract extension, the team confirmed Friday morning. The news was first reported by Darren Dreger of TSN.
With Kempny back in the fold, the Caps now have much of their Stanley Cup-winning lineup under contract for next season.
In fact, they’ve got 10 of 12 forwards signed, five of six defensemen and their starting goalie.
With Kempny now back in the fold, the #ALLCAPS' 2018-19 puzzle is coming together. Here's who's under contract:— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) June 29, 2018
Stephenson- ? -Smith-Pelly
Djoos - ?
And when you consider the fact that Tom Wilson, Madison Bowey and Travis Boyd are restricted free agents and unlikely to be going anywhere, Washington's roster figures to be in very good shape as the team looks to defend its championship in 2018-19.
Devante Smith-Pelly, who also re-signed this week, said the tight-knit locker room wanted to stay together.
“We all want to come back and try it again with the same group,” Smith-Pelly said. “Obviously, it might not work that way. But I think that’s everyone’s intention, is to all come back and all be with the same group. We’re incredibly close.”
Kempny played a huge role in the Caps’ run to the Stanley Cup, despite being a late add.
The swift-skating 27-year-old defenseman was acquired in February from Chicago, where he had struggled to gain a foothold in the lineup.
That was not the case in Washington. Kempny quickly earned a full-time job playing alongside John Carlson and helped shore up a blue line that, at times, looked vulnerable.
In the playoffs, the Czech native averaged 17:42 per game—the fourth highest ice time total among the Caps’ blueliners.
“Definitely,” Kempny said earlier this month, asked if he wanted to return to Washington. “The plan worked out very well, and I can’t be happier. It’s been an amazing three months for me.”
Kempny had two goals in 22 regular season games and a pair of tallies in 24 postseason games.
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