Michael Kostka to make his Blackhawks debut tonight vs. Tampa Bay LightningContinue reading.
Rundblad looking for games, but they might be hard to come by with Blackhawks
David Rundblad is just looking for an opportunity to play. He spent all season with the Phoenix Coyotes, healthy all season, but only played 12 games — just two since Dec. 6, and none since Jan. 22.
“It’s kind of like a fresh start for me,” the Blackhawks’ newest defenseman said after his first practice on Wednesday. “I really didn’t get a good opportunity in Phoenix, so I felt like something had to happen. I need to play games.”
Yeah, about that…
Rundblad now finds himself in the same position Michael Kostka did before he was claimed on waivers by Tampa Bay — vying with Michal Rozsival and Sheldon Brookbank for one open spot on the Hawks’ blue line.
Rundblad will be a healthy scratch Thursday against Columbus, and likely will make his Hawks debut Sunday in Buffalo. With the Hawks not making any extra moves at the trade deadline, Joel Quenneville again will be juggling eight defensemen.
“I don’t foresee changing too much, the way the rotation has been, or the way it’ll go,” Quenneville said. Nobody’s worked their way out or lost their position based on their performance this year, and I think that’s a good thing.”
Rundblad, who was acquired along with prospect defenseman Mathieu Brisebois for a second-round pick on Tuesday, is an offensive-minded defensemen who feels he’ll fit in well with the Hawks’ style. He also knows Marcus Kruger from his time on the Swedish national team, which he said should ease his transition into the dressing room at this late juncture.
“You guys have got a bunch of skill players and they play a fast and uptempo game,” he said. “And hopefully it’s a good fit for me.”
Quenneville said Rundblad was “comparable” to Kostka offensively, but pointed out that, at 23, he’s five years younger.
“I think he’s got some real nice assets to him that might complement our team,” Quenneville said. “We’ll get him a little familiar with how we have to play and how he needs to play, and get a better assessment.”