The Washington Capitals have placed defenseman Tomas Kundratek on waivers, according to the Washington Post.
Kundratek, 23, was caught up in a numbers game. The Caps have a glut of defensemen in the system — 10 remain on the active roster — and head coach Adam Oates suggested the team’s financial situation played a role.
From the Post:
“We’ve got a lot of guys. Obviously it’s a salary cap era, so there are factors involved,” Oates said. “Talked to him this morning, he’s a good hockey player. If he gets picked up, I hope he does well. If he doesn’t, I hope we see him again.”
Kundratek’s departure removes his $550,000 salary cap hit from the Capitals cap equation, giving them a little more room to maneuver with now $1,215,705 in space, according to Capgeek, before accounting for the possibility of adding Tom Wilson or any other prospect.
A former third-round pick of the Rangers in 2008, Kundratek was acquired by Washington in 2011 and played a decent role for the Caps last year, scoring seven points in 25 games while averaging over 16 minutes a night.
Given he’s only 23, has some good NHL experience and carries a pretty cheap contract, it’s very possible Kundratek doesn’t clear waivers and is scooped up by another team.
This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.
Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.
While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.
There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.
Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.
Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:
It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.