After recently seeing his NHL contract with the Los Angeles Kings terminated, Mario Kempe has found a new home. The Swedish forward has signed a contract with CSKA Moscow in the KHL that takes him through the 2020-21 season. Kempe cleared unconditional waivers yesterday and left the Kings organization after just 16 games with their minor league affiliate.
Kempe, 31, has played just three seasons in North America since coming back over (he spent some time as a junior in the QMJHL) but even after playing 52 games with the Arizona Coyotes last season failed to really establish himself as a full-time NHL option. Signing a one-year contract with the Kings and joining his brother Adrian Kempe, he spent the first quarter of this season in the minor leagues.
He’ll return to the KHL where he spent three seasons between 2014-2017 and could very well never return to the North American game. Though he will be an unrestricted free agent in 2021, he’ll also turn 33 before the 2021-22 season would get underway.