Analysis

Blackhawks 2016-17 Over/Under: Michal Rozsival

By Mario Tirabassi
Feb 6, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival (32) skates against the Dallas Stars during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Blackhawks defeat the Stars 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 6, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival (32) skates against the Dallas Stars during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Blackhawks defeat the Stars 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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As the regular season begins in just a couple of weeks, the Chicago Blackhawks are looking to improve on their early exit last season. Over the next few weeks, Blackhawk Up will give projections for the stats of each player heading into the season, based off the trend of past three seasons, career averages, and potential line-mate projections. 

Is 2016-17 Michal Rozsival’s Final Season?

Michal Rozsival is still with the Chicago Blackhawks. Yeah. Believe that. He was re-signed this off-season to a one-year deal worth $600,000 dollars. At the age of 38-years old, Rozsival’s best days have gone by and his presence on the Blackhawks was rumored to be just to help fellow Czech countryman Michal Kempny adjust to the NHL. Word is that Kempny is doing just fine, so where does that leave Rozsival with the organization?

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Rozsival has dealt with injuries the last few seasons and everyone should know for a professional athlete that injuries plus late-30’s doesn’t equate success. What it usually does lead to is retirement. Not calling for Rozsival to retire, but another one-year deal and knowing his role on a contending team should be non-existent should be the writing on the wall.

If he can be effective as a veteran presence and a stop-gap defender to give a night off to someone not named Brian Campbell, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Brent Seabrook, or Duncan Keith, that would be fine.

With the addition of Kempny and Campbell this season, as well as the organization’s focus on building from within means Rozsival’s ice-time is shrinking fast. So where does it leave him in 2016-17?

Chicago Blackhawks 2016-17 Over/Under For Trevor van Riemsdyk 

Factors

Last Three Seasons:

  • 2013-14: 42 GP – 1g, 7a, 8Pts, +7, 16:39 TOI
  • 2014-15: 65 GP – 1g, 12a, 13Pts, even, 17:01 TOI
  • 2015-16: 51 Gp – 1g, 12a, 13Pts, +3, 16:10 TOI

Career Average

  • 82 Game AVG: 5g, 20a, 25Pts, +7, 20:31 TOI

Potential Line-mates:

Projection: 1G, 5A, 6Pts

There is no sense in Rozsival having a regular role in the Blackhawks defensive core in 2016-17. There is essentially no wiggle room to give him that kind of ice-time.

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The problem arises when one remembers that Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville loves to play the veterans more often over the young players. But as the summer turns to fall and training camp rosters continue to dwindle down, there is no denying that the Blackhawks are being true to their word of building from within and investing internally in their future.

Writer Prediction: Under 

As stated before, the signing of Campbell and Kempny makes it much more difficult for Rozsival to play a regular role. Add into the fact that 20-year old Swedish defender Gustav Forsling has been more than impressive this off-season and, at the time of writing this piece, is still on the Blackhawks roster making it more of a log-jam of defenders in Chicago. With the amount of talent and youth on the blue-line, it may be the end of the road, at least in Chicago, for Rozsival.

Therefore, the production prediction for Michal Rozsival is six points for the 2016-17 season.

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