Blackhawks Sign Jan Rutta

The Chicago Blackhawks have signed Czech defenseman Jan Rutta to a one-year contract.

As we noted when we first commented on Rutta as a player of interest on May 11, he had eight goals and 24 assists in 46 games with Chomutov Pirati in the Czech league – the same team from which the Blackhawks signed forward David Kampf.

He is listed at 6-3 and 198 pounds and is a right-handed shot. Rutta played well on the power play for the Czech team – where he played with Michal Kempny – at this year’s World Championships.

34 thoughts on “Blackhawks Sign Jan Rutta

  1. This guy is 26 years old, he didn’t sign here to be yanked in and out of lineup by Q (or did he…). It looks like Kempny and him are slotting in for Campbell & Oduya.

    Bowman’s talent evaluation as to these foreigners — Panarin, Kempny — has to be respected. We’ll give Bowman kudos. Now as for Q and his lineup decisions w/ guys like this, hmmmm…..

  2. Sounds like they are going to make what was reported a few weeks official and announce the signing of Ulf Samuelsson as assistant

  3. With 7D now under contract not including TVR and Glass as backup and 13 returning fwds under contract 48,40,64,22 included in that list Kruger assumed to be moved not included plus 3.5M overage cap hit is 75.5M. May be just a few tweaks like resign Jurco for 6 figure hit instead of Motte and another more experienced minimum salary backup for Crawford and possibly Fortin for Tootoo or he is promoted when space exists could be what we are looking at to start next year. Thanks for updates Tab. PS Rutta/Forsling or Kempny could make a decent 3rd pair

  4. Well ,the trend continues ,.,.filling the holes with untested ,not quite n.h.l. ready ho hum import d -men . These players are being signed for 1 reason,.,.,they are cheap .

    Mr .Bowman has created a perfect storm ,.,.and until some cap space is cleared our team will be patched together , further more these import d -men have built their skill set on a large ice surface ,.,.more time to make decisions ,..,welcome to the n.h.l. when you have very little time to move the puck ,.,.it equates to the player being benched ,or limited ice time because of their inability to make adjustments .Let alone coach Q being anti rookie and short fused with this type of player .
    These Czech players are gonna make us miss T.V.R. bad .

  5. This is how you keep a team in the hunt. All of Stan’s critics want it both ways, i.e. have a team of stars but not pay them market price. Doesn’t work that way, folks.

    Our guys underperformed but Stan has not.

  6. Why did so many teams want him but he prefer the Hawks ?
    Kempny talk to him and said what? That IQ bench him when he has a bad shift ?
    Getting interesting before the draft ….

  7. “and until some cap space is cleared our team will be patched together.” (hawkhead) – yes. Stan B. has collected the replacements, but LARGE piece of salary should be moved…like Brent Sleepwalk’s, to allow some flexibility. That may also address that “old and slow” defense problem, and maybe act as a wake-up bomb to “core” players who forgot what it takes to compete in the post season. (Just one fan’s opinion. GO HAWKS!)

  8. Good point 2010. One would think based on the playoff debacle and Bowman’s words and actions thereafter (and ongoing), this guy and Kempny both assured unless you either of you guys turn into Rundblad II and/or III. you are slotted into top 6 D-men w/out fear of press box viewing if make one mistake.

    We’ve all seen how Q plays favorites — Shaw did all kinds of goofy stuff, no playing time consquences from Q. Vermette didn’t even do anything wrong per se, and Q benched him Game 3 v. Anaheim for no reason. Luckily, Q saw the light quickly on that one, but the damage was permanent as to Vermette ever wanting to come back here.

    Q has adjusted well in the past when the pressure has been on him. As he enjoys saying, “we’ll see.”

  9. As for this guy, who knows. I don’t see this strategy being fruitful. This guy might be good, but signing euro-FA and college FA to min salary deals just doesn’t seem like a path to winning another cup without moving a core player to free up salary and get younger. It feels like this team is stuck in Neutral. Outside of a significant trade, the next big move for the Hawks will be Q’s contract which I believe expires in 2020. I hope I am wrong but I’m not confident in this current strategy at all.

  10. Wirtz , in case you have been living off grid and in a cave somewhere you must realise Bowman signed this Core group as most refer to them to these over the top contracts,.,. most, if not all with no trade clause . Bowman has in fact created a complacent group . Stan has made some very poor decisions , this team is handcuffed because of Stan ,no one else ,.,., just Stan . Lets hope 1 of our top paid players will be kind enough to leave the Hawks ,otherwise its business as usual .

  11. I love blaming Bowman for rewarding elite players in a hard cap system…. smh.

    Are all of the deals ideal? no. Are the players worthy of the money they’re getting paid? In most cases, yes – and then some. Seabrook’s deal isn’t great but the reality is that Keith & Hossa were grossly underpaid (at least in cap hit) and Hjalmarsson is 24 months from a nice raise as well.

    If Pittsburgh wins the Cup again, they will have as many Cups as the Hawks in the last decade – and they practically burned it down around Crosby & Malkin. The Hawks have sustained a high level of play, but haven’t gotten it done in the last two playoffs. it isn’t nearly as broken as people like Hawkhead might lead you to believe.

  12. I think if Schmaltz can cut it with Toews and Panik, Hartman Kero and Hossa make for a very solid 3rd line and with Hayden, Jurco, Hino possibly Fortin or Motte for a 4th line and now with some experience looks very promising. Kempny and Forsling should show a marked improvement this year and Rutta may share a bit with Rozival early but could be a good Dman next year and be in better shape than last year without some of the growing pains. Just be hungrier come playoff time.

  13. Expect there’s quite a bit more to the ‘plan’ SB and team have to address the ‘complete failure’ this season to ‘even come close to reaching the standard…set over the years here.’

    And with the freewheeling feeling that the expansion deal making [talking] is creating, it is hard to see how something big and imaginative does NOT happen. There’ll be too many minds working for weeks now to come up with ‘some possible way’ to move money and dead-weight; something crazy’s gonna fly, right?

  14. Stan is far from done. He’s just getting started.

    We outlined the Expansion process earlier. At least one player will be gone when that dust settles. And I suspect there will be more before the Draft concludes.

  15. “Seabrook’s deal isn’t great but the reality is that Keith & Hossa were grossly underpaid (at least in cap hit)…” — just curious, what does one thing have to do with the other?

    “…and Hjalmarsson is 24 months from a nice raise as well.” — it would seem all the more reason to free-up cap space…? I’m trying to be objective, but Seabrook has been on the decline for two years >>> what was Bowman thinking? I realize “timing” factors into contracts, but age and term also should be a significant part. (…and, it’s not like Sleepwalk wasn’t fairly compensated during his previous deal.)

    “Stan is far from done. He’s just getting started.” — let’s hope so!! Because Kruger and TvR moved (and losing Campbell and Oduya) will cover the current cap excess (incl. bonus overage) and a few dollars, but it hardly addresses the problem.

  16. Per usual, I shake my head at Iceman and his hobby of ripping Quenneville. He’s blasted because he, wait for it, didn’t play a raw and non North America hockey transplant in Kempny enough in 2016-17??? Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up in terms of how blindingly naive it is.

    Rutta is cheap blue line filler who will be counted upon to bring desperately needed size and physicality. But he too is a nothing special Czech player who will have to acclimate on the fly to NA hockey. Alas, the experts like Iceman don’t understand that dynamic.

    Bowman would be smartest to move Panarin. His trade value will never be higher, the Hawks crave the cap room and he’s proven two straight postseasons in a row that his game becomes irrelevant when the league goes into playoff hockey games and the style of play that entails. Let’s face it. Seabrook is immovable and ditto Hosea. So unless we like adding cheap spare parts from Sweden, the European leagues and the KHL well then our hands are tied completely in terms of rebuilding on the fly. This roster, as currently constructed, is done legitimately competing for Stanley Cups. We desperately need the cap space, the drafting luck and the young player acquisition via trade options to find a premier two way winger in the mold of Brandon Saad. Somebody who can skate like a maniac, play two way hockey and can be dynamic in playoff mode hockey. Failing that we devolve into a run of watching an aging Keith, Crawford, Toews, Kane and Hjalmarsson play out their careers in the indianhead sweater with not much to be excited about come playoff time. The circle of life in the salary cap driven NHL unless Bowman can somehow do the truly bold and have some luck on his side.

  17. Good A.M. Mr. Rufus:

    Nice to see you are out of hibernation. Over the course of the few years I have been reading and posting on this blog, it is fair to say your opinions/posts — in singular and aggregate fashion — have the least informed basis thereof. A lack of time, and no access to your posts during this time period, prevents me from establishing this in written, evidentiary fashion. Your perennial, uninformed posts speak for themselves.

    If you want to criticize me for my lobbying and support of Morin, agree, point would be well taken and then some. As for Q, however, your post is misguided and without any basis. I have stated numerous times that — in totality — Q is a great, Hall of Fame in waiting coach. Yet, that does not absolve him from responsibility/blame for stubbornly dressing the likes of Bollig, Mashinter, and Tootoo, and playing them all of three to five minutes in crunch time during many games. For example, the 2014 Western Conference Finals — Bollig was stapled to the bench — the Hawks were running ten forwards out v. LA. Q privately admitted his mistake that summer; Bowman rid himself of Bollig thereafter, who played in the minors (along w/ Mashinter, and where Tootoo belongs) the entire past season.

    The vast majority of the posts re: Kempny have been wholly consistent — he has a lot of ability, he should have been dressing and playing regularly most of the season and the playoffs as well. This is on Q as well. He is a great coach, but he is not immune to criticism. I support Q, I would have been upset if he was fired, and I hope he does not get fired nor leave his position as the Hawks’ coach anytime soon.

    Have a wonderful summer Mr. Rufus. Thanks.

  18. Rufus- agree on Panarin ( of Course I would prefer to Dump Seabrook… but don’t know who would be dumb enough to take Seabs)… 72 is fun to watch in Regular season… but- Playoff hockey… 72 doesn’t get away with the “Curly Shuffle” skating…. 72 has value… and unlike the other “assetts”– he has both value and doesn’t have NMC.

    If they keep 72– prefer to see 72/AA/81- looked goof in few games- and Much more direct Hockey (that might actually be more productive In PO Hockey versus- the Predictable cross ice passing between 88/72

  19. It might be inevitable to trade Panarin but you’re incorrect to say this is his ceiling. Unless he completely tanks it in 2017-18. He would be more valuable to trade next season as a team could work out an extension. A lot of teams now won’t offer full trade valuable for him as he could walk in 2 years.

  20. Like the idea of trading Tvr for future but if Vegas rather than pick Kruger signs an rfa like Pokka or Moose ( assuming 38,14,13) will be protected and 22 and 32 wouldn’t interest them( Kyle Baun under contract too), then the cap issue is still a mess so maybe he has to go there as clincher for very little return. If any other major moves made and it has to be 72 or 15 hope a top 4 Dman comes back and maybe a cheap experienced backup for 50. Wouldn’t be surprised if Kruger only big contract moved if cap gets up in the 76m range either, but time will tell.

  21. I agree with a couple of people who are coming to the defense of Bowman-it’s easy to dislike some of the deals now (esp. Seabrook) but he did what he did and during the three Cups there was some tough choices to make, and not too many people were speaking up from 2010 to 2014. The old saying you can’t have your cake and eat it to–
    You make some moves you know have downside, with potential to be real stinkers, to make 3 Cups happen.
    You have three choices–always be close and pretenders (say Detroit), suffer and then grow (like Toronto, and several years back Chicago) or take a run and hope it works out, knowing it can’t last. At least the Hawks did the later and it worked. and that is great cause you can do it right and not get a Cup.
    The big question is can the Hawks win in the next two or three years, the last potential big years for 88 and 19, and certainly 2 and 4 or is the vision bigger picture for a few years down the road.
    This is a tough fan base as this site shows.

    Is Arvidsson hurt cause the Hawks saw a different player? Or is he missing his center that much.

  22. Noonan, “You make some moves you know have downside…to make 3 Cups happen.” – True. But, Seabrook’s ridiculous (age, term) extension was not necessary to make three Cups happen. The $6,875,000 (2016-17 thru 2023-24) deal started this season. After losing in the first round to St. Louis last year. From 2011-12 thru 2015-16, Seabs was (actually) earning $5,800,000. (These numbers are Cap Hit from CapFriendly.) In my opinion, Seabrook was already beginning to decline, so Bowman should have strongly considered that when agreeing to term.

  23. Noonan, “Is Arvidsson hurt cause the Hawks saw a different player? Or is he missing his center that much.” — could it be that he’s facing a much better team, or at very least, a team much more interested (“didn’t forget what it takes to”) in winning the Cup?

  24. Dickie Dunn-you may be right about Arvidsson and he may not be used to playing this many games as well. I’m not arguing about a better team-it wasn’t close and I’m not that optimistic about next year.
    And really I think the Seabrook deal is ridiculous-I think they were looking at winning one (or two) more Cups with Kane and Toews and made a bad decision.I don’t know how good Bowman is or not–was it the right time/timing and moves by his previous peers? Perhaps–but you can’t win three Cups in this era and not have decline or moves that are ?able to make it happen and continue to possibly happen.

  25. Noonan — I’ve defended Bowman here all along…or until the Seabrook deal. It’s not like he was underpaid before this extension. I understand they went “all-in” and it worked it 2015, but not in 2016. At the time, getting Ladd looked like the best move available, and maybe even overpaying for Weise and Fleischmann(? Maybe Q takes ownership of misusing them?). Even this season, Campbell looked like a good move coming off his previous year. I didn’t think Oduya had much left and he was injured, so I guess Stan thought it was a good gamble.

    I believed Bowman was doing a great job managing the cap, but Seabrook’s contract and all the no movement/no trade clause have really limited making adjustments. I think he made the best choices after 2010 – they figured into the next two Cups. But, the cost of moving Sharp (and obviously I have know idea what deals were possible or if Stan overestimated Sharp’s value in any he passed on…at the draft, or whatever) and Bickell hasn’t been a good thing. I hope he finds some way to get some significant Cap space or I’ll have to agree with you – “not that optimistic about next year”.

  26. The cap only going up in small increments is the real problem. Nobody here saw that the last few years you wouldn’t get an increase big enough to cover the overages each year. If things had of worked out so that wasn’t an issue it make a huge difference. As is you try to give the team its best chance to win while the core is still in its prime.

  27. There is but one cavalry for the Hawks – If Kane and Toews forsake players association etiquette and amortize their salaries further out to free up maybe $8-10 million in cap room in the short run. Otherwise, we are stuck hoping for young players who range from adequate to serviceable to miraculously become world beaters. No Cups here.

  28. Brad their cap hit cannot be changed not matter how you approach it. Once it is approved by the league your only options out of it are trade and buyout.

  29. I still like the option of Hossa waiving his nmc and going to LV in the draft if no recapture applies. Sure any team would take him for a 3rd liner but being responsible for his recapture is a new ballgame and if he went there without any penalties would be a big relief over next 4 years . There seems to be no talk on about it so seems like it won’t happen though.

  30. Alright go ahead trade 72, 15 and 7. Get a really god return for 72 and what you get for 15 and 7. You have that much in cap space. Add one of those positions threw ufa (which would be pretty good cap hit) and get a really good two way FW from one of those trades/combination as well as some promising prospects.

    Does that make the roster better for the next 3-6 yrs.

    The Bowmans and crew have bold and creative ideas to do whats needed and restore the energy to the Blackhawks nation.

  31. toews,kane seabrook are over paid..Stanbo screwed up with those salaries,They need to unload TVR,he play,s like a timid mouse,.
    both kempney and rutta for third pair could be a surprise,As they played well in the worlds..seabrook and keith need to be reunited to work,and hammer with forsling could work if Q would give them a chance..

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