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Kempny signs four-year contract with Capitals

Defenseman could have been unrestricted free agent, gets $10 million from Washington @NHLdotcom

Michal Kempny signed a four-year, $10 million contract with the Washington Capitals on Friday. The contract has an average annual value of $2.5 million.

The 27-year-old defenseman could have become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

Kempny had three points (two goals, one assist) in 22 games with Washington after he was traded by the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 19 for a third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. He had five points (two goals, three assists) in 24 Stanley Cup Playoff games to help the Capitals win their first NHL championship.

"I never played in Chicago against top lines. I didn't know if I could play against them or not," Kempny told TSN during the Stanley Cup Final. "But I got a chance here, so I proved to myself that I can play against top lines. That's a really good thing for my confidence."

Kempny was often paired with defenseman John Carlson, who after signing an eight-year contract Sunday said he wanted to see Kempny return.

"I thought he was a great player," Carlson said. "He made a huge impact on our team. … I thought we kind of started to play our best hockey maybe 10, 15 games after he got here, and then I thought he played awesome in the playoffs. He's a great player, a great defender and he can skate.

"So that's pretty much textbook what you want to have on your team. And, certainly, I think we play well together."

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