Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks’ Rundblad Likely Going Overseas

By Sean Fitzgerald
May 17, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman David Rundblad (5) moves the puck against the Anaheim Ducks during the second period in game one of the Western Conference Final of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
May 17, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman David Rundblad (5) moves the puck against the Anaheim Ducks during the second period in game one of the Western Conference Final of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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On December 30, after clearing waivers, defenseman David Rundblad was assigned to the Chicago Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs. Coach Joel Quenneville was recently asked if Rundblad had a long-term future with the team. Quenneville responded that it was “tough to say.” That is Coach Quenneville speak for having no future with the Blackhawks. Quenneville would also “see” about giving Rundblad anytime at Rockford.

The writing was on the wall for Rundblad for some time. Everyone should have known that when the coaching staff went with unproven defenseman Erik Gustafsson and Viktor Svedberg over him. Rundblad has only appeared in nine games, amassing two assists.

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Since being demoted to Rockford, Rundblad had yet to appear in a single game for the IceHogs. Now there are reports that Rundblad could finish the rest of his season in Europe, per Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune. Rundblad, a native of Sweden, has played in the SHL with Skelleftea. He played his junior and first professional years with Skelleftea before coming to the NHL.

According to a report on yesterday from swisshockeynews.ch, Rundblad could be joining ZSC Lions of the Swiss NLA. Zurich has played 34 of 50 games this season and currently sits in first place in the NLA with 65 points. He would join top NHL prospect Auston Matthews, Marc-Andre Bergeron and Robert Nilsson, among others.

If Rundblad is to play in Europe, he would either have to be loaned out by the Blackhawks or waived by the team again. Assuming he clears waivers again, Rundblad’s contract would be terminated by the Blackhawks.

Rundblad, once a highly sought NHL prospect, never lived up to the hype associated with his talent. He was a first-round pick, 17th overall, by the St. Louis Blues in 2009. He was traded to the Ottawa Senators for a first-round pick that would become Vladimir Tarasenko, then to Arizona Coyotes for Kyle Turris, and then finally to the Blackhawks for two second-round picks. The Coyotes used one of the Blackhawks’ picks to select Team USA U20 winger Christian Dvorak.

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This series of events proves that the acquisition of Rundblad from Arizona was a major mistake. The contract extension given to Rundblad by Stan Bowman before this season only compounded the original mistake. Luckily, the Blackhawks finally decided to the dump him. I wish Rundblad the best in his next hockey destination. I have a feeling it won’t be his last.

In three seasons with the Blackhawks, Rundblad appeared in 63 games and recorded three goals and 13 assists for 16 points.

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