David Rundblad never got much time in the Blackhawks’ lineup. Now, a few days after being placed on waivers, he’ll head overseas.
The Blackhawks loaned Rundblad to the ZSC Lions of Switzerland’s National League A on Sunday morning. The 25-year-old defenseman signed a two-year, $2.1 million contract this offseason (a cap hit of $1.05million per season). The Blackhawks, according to generalfanger.com, will carry a $100,000 buried cap hit for Rundblad.
Rundblad played in nine games this season and recorded two assists. He played in 49 games last season with three goals and 11 assists. Rundblad got in some when other defensemen were hurt; Duncan Keith missed a month after right-knee surgery and Michal Rozsival, recovering from a fractured ankle, was out until mid-November. But even in those cases, the Blackhawks usually looked to other defensemen to fill roles. Viktor Svedberg and Erik Gustafsson were recalled from Rockford and got opportunities immediately.
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
Gustafsson was recalled again on Dec. 28, the same day the Blackhawks placed Rundblad on waivers.
Considered more of an offensive-type defenseman, Rundblad’s defense was more of a question mark. That, and the Blackhawks’ desire to get some of the younger defensemen like Gustafsson in the lineup, meant the end of Rundblad’s time here.
“We got some organizational depth here this year, we had a couple opportunities for young guys to come in and play at the start of the year,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “I think it was healthy for our team knowing that Erik Gustafsson came in and showed that he could play. We were trying to get a way for us to get him up here to play, and that was part of it. He’s been back in the lineup the past two games; he’s kind of played the way he did earlier on in the year. I think it’s more a byproduct of other guys’ play.”
As far as if Rundblad could return – this is the first year of that two-year deal – Quenneville didn’t rule anything out.
“I think it’s one area and one position where you can never have enough depth,” he said. “You never know what’s going to play out. Things change immediately in our business. I think that’s all part of it.”
— Bryan Bickell will be back in the lineup tonight against the Ottawa Senators. Who comes out is unknown.
— Michal Rozsival will be the sixth defenseman tonight. Rob Scuderi will be a healthy scratch.
— Corey Crawford starts vs. the Senators.