Michal Kempny reportedly is receiving increased interest ahead of the free agency period, but it’s highly unlikely the Chicago Blackhawks would be able to get him back
The Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals have various pieces they could have to fight for in free agency come July 1. Among those names is Michal Kempny, who went from the Chicago Blackhawks to the Capitals in a midseason trade during the most recent campaign, then played well en route to a championship.
A report Monday from noted hockey reporter Pierre LeBrun indicates Kempny is garnering more than simply the Capitals’ interest:
According to Washington Post reporter Isabelle Khurshudyan, the Capitals have made sure their collective voice is heard by Kempny and his agent:
But it’s important to note there are many teams clearly interested in Kempny’s services. Maybe one of those is the Blackhawks. Even if that’s the case, it doesn’t matter a bit.
No chance of reconciliation
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The Blackhawks actually could use Kempny, despite Blackhawks management making it seem like he was just awful. Perhaps there’s no way to fit the puck-moving blue-liner — which the Blackhawks don’t have in abundance at the NHL level — into coach Joel Quenneville‘s system. But it’s not like he’s legitimately worse than some of the options the Blackhawks could roll out in 2018-19.
That being said, there’s almost a zero percent chance of the Blackhawks and Kempny ever coming together again. In my mind, Q would have no interest in using Kempny should general manager Stan Bowman reacquire him (and that would make Bowman’s decision on the matter). At the same time, Kempny likely would have no interest returning to a place in which he rarely got to play.
It’s good for Kempny that he was able to move on from a situation in Chicago that wasn’t exactly toxic, but just wasn’t good for his playing career either. Heading into the Stanley Cup Final, he talked about how he figured his brief shot at an NHL career already had ended with how his time in Chicago worked out.
But he had a nice renaissance in Washington playing alongside John Carlson. Blackhawks fans were hopeful the veteran defenseman might want to head to the Windy City in free agency. Instead, Carlson re-signed last week with the Caps.
You can bet that helps Kempny’s chances of being re-added, especially considering he’s still going to be on the cheaper side despite performing well in the postseason. For the Blackhawks, even if Kempny wasn’t a 100 percent fit for Q’s defensive system, he’s a blueliner who got away well too easily and quickly.