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.