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.