David Rundblad signed a 2 year contract this offseason with the Chicago Blackhawks, and after his performance in the Stanley Cup playoffs this signing took most people by surprise.
Rundblad was either in the pressbox watching the playoffs with the best seat in the house, or he was saddled to the bench in Coach Joel Quenneville‘s 3rd defensive pairing that was seeing the ice for about 6 minutes a game.
Rundblad wasn’t even an option until the Michal Rozsival went down in Game #4 of the Minnesota Wild series, and when he did become an option it was one huge glaring weakness for the Blackhawks which caused Duncan Keith to log super human minutes during the playoffs.
Stan Bowman like Coach Q likes his projects, and Rundblad is one of them for Bowman especially when he gave up a 2nd round pick to acquire him at the 2013 trade deadline. So of course Rundblad won a Stanley Cup, but did he really deserve a 2 year extension?
Sure, it was the preseason opener last night, but there was David Rundblad on the ice for 3 Detroit Red Wings goals. I know some people are going to say that hockey is a team game, but Rundblad looked lost out there in Game #1 of the preseason. Crazy is doing things the same way over and over and expecting a different result, so I guess we are all crazy expecting Rundblad to turn into a good defenseman over the summer.
It’s not like the Chicago Blackhawks didn’t give themselves some other options at defense this offseason. They have given Jan Hejda and Lubomir Visnovsky PTO’s to make the roster, and well we already know that Joel Quenneville hates playing rookies but Ville Pokka looks ready to make the leap from Rockford to the Big Club. There also is Erik Gustafsson that looks poised and ready to make the team this year.
The problem is with all this talent whether is grizzled veterans or young and upcoming defenseman we will probably still see Rundblad in the lineup which doesn’t make the team better. He’s ok on the offense end of the ice, but his defense is less than desirable and with the addition of Trevor Daley who is better on offense and probably the same as Rundblad on defense it could be a long year for Corey Crawford absorbing pucks.
It’s hard to see the Chicago Blackhawks getting rid of David Rundblad especially with his salary cap price tag and age, but it seems like we have seen where Rundblad’s ceiling is and it’s time to cut ties with this defenseman or Keith may never get a breather all season long.
What do you think? Should Rundblad be one of the 6 defenseman or is it time to let another young player cut his teeth in Chicago?
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