Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Shipping out: Hawks deal Kempny to Caps

More signs that the rebuild is on as Chicago makes move for a conditional draft pick

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Capitals coach Barry Trotz said teams can’t have enough defensive depth in discussing Washington acquiring Michal Kempny in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.

In exchange for Kempny, the Blackhawks received a conditional 2018 third-round pick from the Capitals, who made the deal shortly before their game at Buffalo and a week before the NHL trade deadline.

The Capitals will part with the higher selection between their own third-rounder and the Toronto pick they acquired from New Jersey as part of the Marcus Johansson trade.

“We see as the season goes on and the games get more intense, you need depth,” Trotz said. “And no one can have enough depth on defense.”

The Capitals began the day in second place in the Metropolitan Division standings, and are injury-free in concluding a four-game road swing.

The 27-year-old Kempny had a goal and six assists in 31 games in his second NHL season, both with Chicago. He can become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

The Capitals got a firsthand look at Kempny, who had an assist and was credited with two blocked shots in a 7-1 loss at Chicago on Saturday.

“He’s a real good skater and he’s a little bit more of a veteran player,” Trotz said.

If the Hawks enter a full-scale rebuild, the effects could start to trickle down to Rockford. The IceHogs currently sit just two points out of a playoff spot in the AHL Central Division.

But should Chicago start to strip its roster, key players in the Rockford lineup would find their way to the United Center. That could leave the ‘Hogs ill-equipped to continue their playoff push.

–Associated Press; with Staff reports

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