The Washington Capitals have sent Michal Kempny to the AHL Hershey Bears on a long-term injury conditioning stint, suggesting that the defenseman is closing in on a return. In October, Kempny underwent surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon suffered in offseason training and was given a six to eight-month recovery timeline. He has been skating with the Capitals for the last little while, but it was still unclear if he would actually play this season.
A conditioning stint would indicate that the 30-year-old Kempny may actually be able to play for Washington, at least once the playoffs start. The team does not have the cap space to activate him from LTIR right now, but that issue would go away in the postseason when the salary cap ceiling is lifted. Where he fits into the lineup at this point isn’t clear, especially coming off such a long injury, but adding depth at the position for the playoffs is never a bad thing.
- Speaking of coming off a long injury, Chicago Blackhawks’ Kirby Dach won’t play again this season after reaggravating the problem in his wrist. Dach “continues to have some post-operative discomfort” according to team physician Dr. Michael Terry and he will be held out the final three games of the year. The 20-year old forward didn’t make his season debut until March 27, but that was much earlier than his initial timeline suggested. The team didn’t hold him back, letting Dach play more than 20 minutes in each of his first two games of the year. While there’s no guarantee this situation could have been avoided, it is a frustrating end to a disappointing season for the young forward. After scoring 23 points in 64 games as a rookie, Dach will finish this year with two goals and 10 points in 18 games.
- Interested in seeing what all the fuss is about with new Columbus Blue Jackets forward Justin Danforth? Tune into the IIHF World Championship later this month, where Danforth is expected to represent Canada according to Brian Hedger of the Columbus Dispatch. The undrafted 28-year-old signed his first NHL deal just a few days ago after three dominant seasons overseas. Danforth recorded 23 goals and 55 games in the KHL and will get to test his skills alongside some other NHL players at the tournament.