Capitals re-sign Kundratek, Buy Out Schultz
Silent in the midst of free agency, the Washington Capitals are taking care of some business at home. Yesterday, the Caps resigned D Tomas Kundratek to a two year contract extension.
Kundratek started the season at AHL Hershey last year, but was called up due to injuries on ther Caps blue line. Kundratek played well and earned the trust of Adam Oates. Injuries eventually landed Kundratek back in Hershey, where he became an AHL All Star, The 23 year-old defenseman compiled 7 points in 25 games with the Caps last season. At the AHL Hershey Bears, he recorded a career high 16 goals and added 15 assists for 31 points in 49 games. Kundratek was acquired from the New York Rangers in 2011.
The Caps also chose to buy out the contract of D Jeff Schultz. Earlier this off-season, Schultz requested a trade, but the Caps were unable to find a taker. Schultz has a huge 6’7″ frame, but often fails to uitlize his frame for his advantage. He is known in DC as a soft defenseman. The buyout will cost the Caps $2 million over the next two seasons, but not count against the NHL salary cap. In essence, the buyout will free $2.75 million on the Caps salary cap. That release of space puts Washington a little over $9 million under the cap.
Schultz’s soft play cost him playing time after logging 399 games with the Capitals. The emergence of Steve Oleksy and Jack Hillen on the Caps blue line further relegated Schultz to a constant healthy scratch status.