Another shoe has dropped. The Washington Capitals have placed defenseman Michal Kempny on their “injured non roster” list. Kempny, who is still rehabbing a torn left hamstring he suffered last season, was “highly likely” to miss the season opener Wednesday against the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues. Now that seems virtually assured.
Combined with Evgeny Kuznetsov’s three-game suspension, Kempny’s move to injured reserve makes the Capitals compliant of the NHL’s 23-man active roster limit… for now!
#Caps place D Michal Kempny on injured non roster (can be activated when healthy; no minimum game threshold)
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) October 1, 2019
In a tweet from the Capitals PR, Kempny “can be activated when healthy” and there’s “no minimum game threshold” that he must sit out, unlike the longterm injured reserve which requires a 10 game absence.
“I feel better every day. Just try to work on some stuff and get better,” Kempny said to The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir. “I think I’m really close [to full contact].”
“I think I’m really close.” — #Caps D Michal Kempny, who is still working his way back from injury. He was placed on the ‘injured non roster’ list today and can be activated when healthy. Unclear when that’ll be; he’s improving but still wearing a no-contact jersey. pic.twitter.com/aeMrrj3e3C
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) October 1, 2019
According to the Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan, the Capitals appear to be punting their salary cap issues for a week when Kuznetsov and Kempny both come back. The Capitals start the season with three games in four nights (Wednesday – Saturday).
This means the Caps are down to 23 players. Kuznetsov and Kempny don’t count against the roster limit and they have cap relief from Kuznetsov suspension. Essentially punting salary cap and roster issues for a week. https://t.co/BPeHvqtur4
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) October 1, 2019
It’s unclear if the Capitals will make another move before the season opener or if this is the crew they’re riding with.
The Capitals roster currently includes three goalies: Braden Holtby, Pheonix Copley, and rookie Ilya Samsonov; three defensemen who are all candidates to be sent down when Kempny returns: Jonas Siegenthaler, Tyler Lewington, and Martin Fehérváry; and three forwards who could all be cut when Kuznetsov returns: Chandler Stephenson, Travis Boyd, and Brendan Leipsic.
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