Wednesday: Kempe has cleared waivers.
Tuesday: According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, the Los Angeles Kings have placed Mario Kempe (no, not Adrian Kempe) on unconditional waivers, a move that usually precedes a mutual contract termination. Kempe has played 16 games with the Ontario Reign this season, scoring 11 points. He is expected to sign in the KHL, with Igor Eronko of Sport-Express reporting that he has been in talks with Omsk Avangard.
The 31-year old Kempe returned to North America in 2017 after spending several years back in Sweden and the KHL, signing a one-year deal with the Arizona Coyotes. He ended up playing very well for their minor league affiliate and earned himself 70 games of NHL action over two seasons with the organization, before signing with the Kings in the summer.
Though losing him may be hard on his brother, the Kings aren’t really giving up much by letting Kempe head back overseas. The organization is in a rebuild and needs room in the minor leagues for their young prospects, and obviously weren’t going to give a real opportunity to him at the NHL level.
Technically, Kempe will become an unrestricted free agent and could sign with another NHL team, though that doesn’t seem likely at this point.