The Washington Capitals have announced that forward Richard Panik is on the long-term injured reserve due to an upper-body injury. Washington head coach Todd Reirden added that defenceman Michal Kempny will make his season debut Friday against the New York Rangers.
Newsy Caps day:
Michal Kempny to play tonight vs Rangers, Richard Panik placed on long-term injured reserve, Travis Boyd and Martin Fehervary recalled from Hershey and Jonas Siegenthaer (upper body) is a game-time decision.
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) October 18, 2019
Richard Panik Injured
Panik looked to be injured when he collided with teammate Jonas Siegenthaler in Wednesday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Siegenthaler looked to have taken the worst of the hit, but he skated in practice on Friday.
The 28-year-old has not recorded a point and no penalty minutes in eight games so far this season. He has a Corsi for of 51.4 and a relative Corsi of -0.5
Panik has played for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Chicago Blackhawks, Arizona Coyotes, Maple Leafs and Capitals in his eight-year NHL career. He has 75 goals and 84 assists for 159 career points in 418 career games. Tampa Bay originally drafted him in the second round, 52nd overall of the 2009 NHL Draft.
Michal Kempny Returns
Kempny has missed the last six months with a torn left hamstring. The Czech defenceman finished last season with career highs in goals (six) and assists (19) before missing the last part of the season.
The 29-year-old has 11 career goals and 32 assists in 174 games. He has played for the Blackhawks and Capitals in his three-year NHL career. Chicago signed him as an undrafted free agent.
Kempny was put with Radko Gudas in practice as hopes to “ease him back into the lineup” according to Rierden.
What This Means for the Future
Kempny’s return to the lineup is a welcome one as he’s one of the Caps’ best blue-liners. He’s taken off since coming over from the Blackhawks.
Chandler Stephenson will take Panik’s place in the lineup. Panik hasn’t scored, but has been a double-digit goal-scorer in his career. He scored 14 goals last season in Arizona.
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 04: Richard Panik #14 of the Washington Capitals skates against the New York Islanders at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum on October 04, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. The Capitals defeated the Islanders 2-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)