Caps Swap Bouchard to Rangers for KundratekPosted on January 14, 2013 by Mike Vogel
Washington consummated a minor league swap with the New York Rangers on Tuesday. The Capitals sent forward Francois Bouchard to the Rangers in exchange for defenseman Tomas Kundratek. Bouchard will report to the Rangers’ AHL farm team in Hartford while Kundratek will join the AHL Hershey Bears. Kundratek, 22, is a left-handed blueliner who hails from the Czech Republic. He stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 201 pounds. Chosen with the Rangers’ third-round pick (90th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Kundratek played in his native country until the season after he was drafted, when he joined Medicine Hat of the WHL. After two seasons with Medicine Hat, Kundratek turned pro last season and posted two goals and 12 points to go along with 42 PIM in 70 games for the AHL’s Connecticut Whale. Thus far this season, Kundratek had two assists in seven games with the Whale. Bouchard, 23, was Washington’s second-round choice (35th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. The younger brother of Minnesota Wild forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Francois had just started his fourth season in the Washington organization. Bouchard’s best season as a pro was in 2009-10 when he totaled 21 goals and 52 points with 55 PIM and a plus-21 in 77 games for the Calder Cup champion Bears. He added five goals and 10 points in 21 playoff contests that season. Bouchard’s production dipped by about half last season, as he managed just a dozen goals and 24 points with a minus-5 in 74 games with Hershey and had but a single point (a goal) in six playoff games. This season, Bouchard was without a point and was minus-4 in nine games with the Bears prior to the deal. With just a dozen goals and 24 points in his last 83 games at Hershey, Bouchard’s star had fallen in the Caps’ organization and he was clearly behind several other players on the organizational depth chart. Perhaps a change of scenery can jumpstart his career.
It hasn’t quite been 18 months since the Texas Stars and the Hershey Bears hooked up in the 2010 Calder Cup final series, with the Bears prevailing and skating off with their second straight Calder Cup title. When the Capitals take to the ice for tonight’s game against the Dallas Stars – the Texas