Blackhawks add Czech defenseman Michal Kempny

SHARE Blackhawks add Czech defenseman Michal Kempny

Czech defenseman Michal Kempny (left) fights with American forward Tyler Motte, also a Blackhawks prospect, during the World Championships quarterfinal in Moscow on Thursday; (AP Photo)

The cap-strapped Blackhawks are once again looking to Europe for a quick roster fix.

The Hawks have agreed to a contract with Czech defenseman Michal Kempny, a source confirmed on Monday. first reported the deal was done. Buffalo an Vancouver reportedly were pursuing Kempny, as well.

Kempny likely will challenge for a regular roster spot with Erik Gustafsson, Viktor Svedberg, David Rundblad and Rockford standout Ville Pokka. After an early postseason exit in which their lack of defensive depth was glaring, only Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Brent Seabrook and Trevor van Riemsdyk are locks for next season.

The Hawks have had success mining Europe for affordable, NHL-caliber players. This past season, Artemi Panarin came over from the KHL to post 30 goals and 47 assists, and Erik Gustafsson went from Sweden to the Hawks blue line. Dennis Rasmussen also played 44 games for the Hawks after being signed out of Sweden two years ago. Both Panarin and Rasmussen were undrafted late-bloomers. The Hawks hope Kempny can be the same. The 6-foot, 174-pounder will be 26 when the season opens. He had five goals and 16 assists in the KHL this past season, his first year in Russia after six seasons in the Czech Republic. He had two assists in eight games and was a plus-7 at the just-completed World Championships.

The Latest
The charges center on at least $1.4 million in taxes Hunter Biden owed between 2016 and 2019, a period where he struggled with addiction. The back taxes have been paid.
In the first meeting on NHL ice between the No. 1 and No. 2 picks in the 2023 draft, Bedard and goalie Petr Mrazek helped the Hawks earn a 1-0 win Thursday.
The officer was driving an Infiniti SUV in the 300 block of North State Street about 12:30 a.m. Thursday. She told officers she dropped her phone and took her eyes off the road to grab it, according to a police report.
The Portage Park school closed this year and is expected to house up to 350 people starting as early as mid-January.
The victim, a male of unknown age, was found about 3:40 p.m. Thursday with multiple gunshot wounds in the 6800 block of South Claremont Avenue.