HERSHEY, Pa. – The Hershey Bears will be dressing Stanley Cup Champion and NHL defenseman Michal Kempny in their lineup after the Washington Capitals assigned him to the Chocolate and White on an LTI conditioning loan. The 30 year-old blue liner has not played for the Capitals this season after undergoing surgery for a torn Achilles in October.
Kempny, 30, has never skated at the AHL level in his career. The native of Hodonin in the Czech Republic jumped from the KHL straight to the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks, and was a midseason acquisition by the Capitals during the 2017-18 season where he helped Hershey’s NHL affiliate to a Stanley Cup. In 232 total NHL games, Kempny has 61 points (14 goals, 47 assists) as well as 30 games of postseason experience with six points (two goals, four assists).
Kempny will wear number six with the Bears while injured defenseman Lucas Johansen will temporarily switch to number two, according to the team. The length of the conditioning assignment is unknown at this point, depending on when the Caps can activate him from conditioning. Washington runs a tight ship in terms of cap space, and it’s possible Kempny’s return might not take place until the postseason begins for the Capitals, whose season ends on May 11, while Hershey’s extends through May 16.
If that is the case, Kempny will be available to the Bears for their games against Binghamton on May 7 and Lehigh Valley on May 8. Having Kempny’s experience will be invaluable to Hershey’s younger defensive group, which has been ailing a bit in the absence of a few key figures in recent times due to injury. Having a Stanley Cup Champion on the roster is always a nice boost as the Bears approach the end of their season this spring.