Tag: Tomas Kundratek

Tomas Kundratek, David Clarkson

Caps waive Kundratek


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.

Erskine is ‘top four’ on Washington’s blue line, says coach Oates

John Erskine

Veteran defenseman John Erskine is in no jeopardy of losing his spot in the Washington Capitals’ top four, according to head coach Adam Oates.

“He’s not losing his job,” Oates said, per CSNWashingtoncom. “He’s not. It’s not even up for grabs. He’s top four on our team.”

Erskine is a big, tough defensive defenseman who led all Washington blue-liners with 91 hits last season while providing what forward Troy Brouwer calls “that presence on the ice.” (See: image to the right)

The Caps do, however, have a couple of young d-men in Dmitry Orlov and Tomas Kundratek; hence, the speculation about Erskine’s role with the club for 2013-14.

Washington’s three other top-four d-men are Mike Green, John Carlson, and Karl Alzner.

Related: Watch Erskine rob the Jets…twice

Jagr, Elias highlight Czech Olympic invite list

Jaromir Jagr

The Czech Republic has released its “long list” for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia — and a pair of New Jersey veterans are front and center.

41-year-old Jaromir Jagr and 37-year-old Patrik Elias are two of the most prominent names on the 67-man list, which includes seven goalies, 22 defensemen and 38 forwards, according to IIHF.com.

The Czechs, gold medalists in 1998 and bronze medalists in 2006, boast a veteran-laden team with a strong NHL influence.

In goal, Tomas Vokoun, Michal Neuvirth and Ondrej Pavelec will battle for the No. 1 job — Vokoun carried the load in 2010, with Pavelec working as his backup and Czech Extraliga goalie Jakub Stepanek as the No. 3.

On defense, the Czechs feature a number of NHL vets: Marek Zidlicky, Zbynek Michalek, Roman Polak, Michal Rozsival, Jan Hedja, Radek Martinek and Ladislav Smid. It’s expected Tampa Bay youngster Radko Gudas and Detroit’s Jakub Kindl will also be in the mix, along with Washington’s Tomas Kundratek.

Up front is where the team boasts the most depth.

Jagr and Elias are joined by Martin Erat, Tomas Fleischmann, Michael Frolik, Martin Hanzal, Martin Havlat, Alex Hemsky, Jiri Hudler, David Krejci, Milan Michalek, Tomas Plekanec, Vinny Prospal, Vladimir Sobotka, Jiri Tlusty, Jakub Voracek and Radim Vrbata.

It’s possible that San Jose’s 2012 first-rounder, Tomas Hertl, could also be in the mix, along with Calgary youngster Roman Horak and Tampa Bay prospect Ondrej Palat.

For Czech Republic’s full 67-man invite list, click here.

Caps sign d-man Strachan

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Washington has found a defensive depth replacement for Jeff Schultz, agreeing to terms with journeyman blueliner Tyson Strachan.

The deal, first reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger, is of the two-way, one-year variety. No word yet on monetary compensation.

Strachan, 28, was Carolina’s fifth-round pick in 2003 and has spent time with both the St. Louis and Florida organizations, appearing in 120 career NHL contests.

His best season was the 2013 lockout-shortened campaign, when he emerged as a regular with the Panthers.

Strachan posted career highs in games (38), points (four) and time on ice per game (18:58), leading the team in hits (110) while finishing third in blocked shots, with 62.

With Washington, Strachan will likely battle for one of the final spots on the blueline.

The Caps currently have six defensemen under contract for next season (Mike Green, John Carlson, John Erskine, Jack Hillen, Tomas Kundratek, Steven Oleksy) and still have to reach a new deal with RFA Karl Alzner.

Young prospects Cameron Schilling, Nate Schmidt and Dmitry Orlov could also be in the mix.

Caps re-sign defenseman Kundratek on two-year deal

Tomas Kundratek, David Clarkson

Washington Capitals defenseman Tomas Kundratek must’ve made a nice impression on coach Adam Oates last season.

The team announced they’ve signed the Czech blue liner to a two-year extension. Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.com says the deal is worth $1.1 million total with a cozy cap hit of $550,000 each season.

This past season, Kundratek was pressed into action and didn’t perform too bad. In 25 games he had a goal and six assists while averaging third-pair minutes (16:09 per game).

He’s been a steady performer in the AHL with the Hershey Bears and the first year of his new deal is a one-way deal. Unless the Caps want to pay him just over half a million dollars to play in the AHL, it’s setting up that he’ll be in competition for the third-pair once again.