IT’S KUNDRATEK FOR BOUCHARD

Connecticut WhaleThe New York Rangers have announced that they’ve shipped defenseman Tomas Kundratek to the Washington Capitals for forward Francois Bouchard.

The move makes perfect sense for the organization, and for that matter for Kundratek as well.

Kundratek has been scratched the past several games and there really was no place for him in Hartford. The Whale are also thin up front and can use a player that can put the puck in the net, which Bouchard can do.

This move also expands the Rangers cap space by sending Kundratek to the Caps. Kundratek is due $816,666 in ‘12-‘13 and can then become an RFA. Meanwhile Bouchard takes up $770,000 this year, then next year he goes RFA. Bouchard is the younger bro of Minnesota Wild LW/RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard.

It’s safe to expect that Bouchard will likely be in the Whale lineup for this weekend’s games when the Whale travel to St. John’s.

Here’s the Rangers official release:

RANGERS ACQUIRE FORWARD FRANCOIS BOUCHARD

New York sends defenseman Tomas Kundratek to Washington

New York, November 8, 2011 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has acquired forward Francois Bouchard from the Washington Capitals in exchange for defenseman Tomas Kundratek.

Bouchard, 23, has skated in 227 career games for the Hershey Bears (AHL), compiling 49 goals and 63 assists for 112 points along with 129 penalty minutes.  In 2009-10, Bouchard notched career highs in games played (77), goals (21), assists (31), points (52), plus/minus (21), and penalty minutes (55).  Last season, he finished seventh on the Bears in goals (12) and recorded four multi-point games.

The 6-1, 198-pounder has competed in 39 career playoff games for Hershey, registering seven goals and seven assists for 14 points, along with 38 penalty minutes, helping lead the team to back to back Calder Cup Championships in 2008-09 and 2009-10.  In 2009-10, Bouchard played in 21 playoff contests, registering 5 goals and 5 assists for 10 points, along with 28 penalty minutes.  He tied for second among team forwards in plus/minus (9) and tied for seventh in playoff scoring.

The Sherbrook, Quebec native was originally selected as Washington’s second round choice, 35th overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

Kundratek, 21, has played in 77 career games for the Connecticut Whale (AHL), registering two goals and 12 assists for 14 points, along with 44 penalty minutes.  The Trinec, Czech Republic native was originally New York’s third round choice, 90th overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

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2 responses to “IT’S KUNDRATEK FOR BOUCHARD

  1. No offense but Kundratek as long as he was in the AHL was having no effect on the Ranger salary cap. But you are right if Kundratek was not playing then moving him is the right thing to do.

    The only concern to have is the Rangers on the Whale are going from having a lot of prospect defensive prospects to now Redden and Bell. Then the Whale will most likely add Woywitka when they activate Stralman on the NYR roster.

    And if Staal ever makes it back then someone else will need to go

    • Jess, The Whale still have Blake Parlett who they are high on, Tim Erixon of course, Stu Bickel who I’m sure you know was one of the last cuts and has continued to play well here. They also have Pavel Valentenko and Lee Baldwin is in Greenville because there was no where for him to play.

      What will be interesting to see if Woywitka comes down and if Stralman eventually winds up here too, is the AHL only allows I believe it’s six veterans on a squad and I think the Whale are either at that number already or might even be over it. If that’s the case then they are going to have to send someone else out of town.

      I know that Kundratek has no immediate hit on the cap. If he were to have come up he’d have been a more expensive person to carry. He also has another year before restricted free agency, so if Bouchard doesn’t work out, they can free themselves of a contract a year sooner.