Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks, Michal Kempny Agree To Terms

By Sean Fitzgerald
Mar 2, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team North America associate general manager Stan Bowman speaks to media during a press conference for the upcoming 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Intercontinental Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 2, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team North America associate general manager Stan Bowman speaks to media during a press conference for the upcoming 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Intercontinental Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Blackhawks Add Defenseman Kempny

Rumors had surfaced before the recently-completed IIHF World Championships that the Chicago Blackhawks, along with Vancouver, were interested in KHL defenseman Michal Kempny. Multiple sources have now announced the Blackhawks have agreed to terms with Kempny.

Kempny is 6-foot, 174 pounds and will be 26 when the next NHL season opens. Kempny just missed the cutoff to sign to sign an entry-level deal, so he’ll the cost the Blackhawks more to sign him.

Despite being ineligible for an entry-level deal, he still is a very cost efficient. This is also another reason the Blackhawks were very interested in signing Kempny to a contract.

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The Czech defenseman spent last season in the KHL with Omsk Avangard. He racked up five goals and 16 assists in 59 games. That was his first season in the KHL after spending the majority of his career in a Czech league.

Kempny also appeared in the IIHF World Championship for the Czech Republic and was viewed as the best defenseman in the tournament. He had two assists in eight games and was a plus-7.  Kempny will also appear in the World Cup of Hockey for the Czech Republic.

Kempny has the potential to be a top-four defenseman. The scouting report states that he is solid in all zones and is a very mobile puck moving defenseman.

Kempny figures to supplant Trevor Van Riemsdyk and join Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Duncan Keith in the top four. Kempny will also move down Erik Gustafsson, Viktor Svedberg and Ville Pokka on the depth chart.

This signing hopefully signals the end of the David Rundblad era in Chicago. Rundblad is still under contract for another season but only for one season. Rundblad should be buried in Rockford and loaned out to another European team.

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The Blackhawks are hoping that Kempny joins the rest of Bowman’s “successful” European signings. Kempny will join Erik Gustafsson, Artemi Panarin and Dennis Rasmussen. Gustafsson went from Sweden to the Blackhawks blue line, Panarin blossomed into a 30-goal and 47-assist producer, and Rasmussen appeared in 44 games for the Blackhawks playing a bottom-line center position last season.

Kempny signing continues with the trend of this offseason: signing cost effective young defenseman. Kempny adds to the crop of Gustav Forsling, Robin Norell and Carl Dahlstrom. Hopefully there will be more signings to come.

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