Blackhawks Roster Decisions Coming Soon

On Tuesday morning, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville shared some exciting news with the media.

Veteran defenseman Michal Rozsival might be able to return from injured reserve for one of this weekend’s games.

Duncan Keith might be available, too.

The Blackhawks are in St. Louis on Saturday before hosting the Calgary Flames on Sunday evening.

So far this season, Chicago has been forced to rely on rookie defensemen more than expected. Trevor van Riemsdyk looked good last season, but injuries cut his rookie season short. He is averaging over 20 minutes per game this season and has picked up two points in 15 games.

Most fans and analysts expected TvR to make the team out of camp, however. Some other names have been asked to step up, and have performed relatively well given the circumstances.

Viktor Svedberg is averaging 17:20 per game with two points in 14 appearances, and Erik Gustafsson has two assists while averaging 13:39 per game. Both of them could end up back in Rockford when Rozsival and Keith are able to return to action.

Another option would be to punt on the David Rundblad Experiment and place him on waivers. He has appeared in only five games, has yet to produce a point while averaging 15:13 on the ice, and is minus-two for his efforts. The fact that he’s buried on the bench behind a couple rookies speaks volumes to the coaching staff’s confidence in Runblad, which might make him heading to Rockford – or out of town – very real option.

The other issue on the blue line has been Trevor Daley, who isn’t likely to go through waivers but might find himself in the press box when Keith and Rozsival return. He’s been mediocre in his first 15 games with the Hawks, averaging just over 16 minutes per night with three assists to show for his season to date.

What we have seen thus far is that Gustafsson and Svedberg can play at the NHL level, and limiting their roles to bottom pair responsibilities would undoubtedly help the overall team scheme. But there are too many bodies for the six active spots on the ice now, meaning either Quenneville or GM Stan Bowman will have to do something to make room soon.

40 thoughts on “Blackhawks Roster Decisions Coming Soon

  • November 10, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    ^LOL good one Mud …

    The salary cap will drive whatever moves they make. If they move Rundblad, that gives them a little wiggle room (but not a whole lot) to add another player.

    If the Tribune is to be believed, they are trying to bring in a veteran defenseman but I don’t know too many puck moving defensemen who fit their style available at a low price. Maybe some other team holds on to some money.

    But yes, the time draws near for something to happen.

  • November 10, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Not a bad problem to have. Interesting that last year it seemed like we traded away all of our young promising defensive prospects. It looked like Pokka was all we had left and he hasn’t seen an NHL game this year. To me this is a perfect example of the “maybe they know something we don’t” phrase. I sometimes get the feeling Bowman and company talk up or showcase players they know won’t develop into Blackhawk contributors to increase trade value. I could almost hear Bowman “oh.. anyone but Cden, he’s our number 1 prospect, anyone else” Other Gm “no I want Cden, your not getting off easy cup champ, I know your cap situation” Bowman “fine if i must”

    I would actually prefer keeping Runblad in the press box and let Sved and Gus get big minuets out west. Of course that’s if Q plans on playing Rozy every night or Bowman can find a taker for Runblad, which is possible.

    Either way I’m comforted in thinking we have 2 D prospects that can play in the NHL and develop into solid 5-6D in the future.

  • November 10, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    I rarely, if never, comment on these sights, but I just had to say that, Kyle, you are right on!

  • November 10, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Interesting to try to gauge Q’s remarks.

    On Sunday, after the morning skate, when asked about Rundblad going to Rockford he said, we’ll see how it plays out, “we can’t keep 9”

    Today he’s quoted as saying, the salary cap will dictate what we do.

    With Cumiskey now playing his way into shape in Rockford, you have to figure that Rundblad is the #10 defenseman in the organization.

    A guy making $1 Million in the salary cap era simply cannot be your #10 defenseman.

  • November 10, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    I’m curious though: what does this have to do with the enternal damnation of Kane’s soul in hell?

  • November 10, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Rundblad, Bickell and Shaw to Florida for Brian Campbell. The salaries almost match up and Soupy is on the last year of his contract. Tallon would do this trade.

    I hate to lose Shaw, but this could work. However, I have taken ALOT of pucks to the head over the decades……………….LOL.

  • November 10, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Thank you LifeTime Hawks Fan. I read this site a couple times a day and have only posted a couple times.

    Hof I read some articles about bringing in a veteran Dman. Most of the examples I didn’t find appealing. Not good, too much or wrong fit. Do YOU really think the Hawks need another Dman now?

    Right now I think our depth on the blueline is in good shape. I think our coaching will develop these younger guys and they will only get better. Of course it always comes back to unloading Bicks contract. Which at this point it’s pretty clear we’re not getting rid of him unless we take another teams trash.

  • November 10, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Just happy to know that both Keith and Rozsival could be back by this weekend. And I echo what Kyle said about having 2 D-men with NHL experience who can help the 3rd pairing down the road.

    I’m not sure how we trade for a D-man given our cap situation, but I’m sure Stan and Co. are trying to figure something out. The rumor mill has lots of names: Matt Carle, Carl Gunnarsson, Kris Russell, Luke Schenn. Not sure who would fit best, if at all, but I defer to the more informed minds among us here.

  • November 10, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Tony…….Matt Carle has 3 years left at 5.5mil / year. Brian Campbell can out skate most of the available D men and he has this year left on his contract.

    I still think SB goes and gets Soupy from Tallon.

  • November 10, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Kyle, in answer to your question, yes I do think the Blackhawks could use another veteran defenseman. Oduya a few years ago cost 2 picks and he ended up being an ideal fit.

    They are trying to “gel” this team, so frankly the earlier the better if they’re going to add experience to the back end. That theory, however, flies in the face of their salary cap issues.

    The easiest thing for them to do is send Svedberg and Gustafsson down, they will then be cap compliant even with Rozsival and Keith back and Rundblad still on the team.

    It is possible, though seems odd, that they are thinking “let’s see what Svedberg and Gustafsson can do now that we have the chance” while still feeling Rundblad will get ample time as the year goes on.

    I do not think these Tribune reports of them seeking a veteran defenseman are “sea stories” i.e. BS, i.e. “you should have seen the size of the fish I caught!”. I think there’s some truth to them.

    But if they add somebody, they’d need to be creative. Creative like they did with Dallas – the Stars kept 1/2 of Garbutt’s salary.

    I would be shocked if they brought in a veteran defenseman and the other team didn’t keep salary. I don’t know how the Blackhawks could otherwise swing it under the salary cap. They will be tight up against it with Keith and Rozsival back.

    But yes, I personally think they could use an Oduya type. Or someone like him that’s reasonably solid and can skate and move the puck – their transition game depends on guys with that skillset.

  • November 10, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Forgot about Soupy. Good point there, Reg. He also knows the Q system.

  • November 10, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    re: adding another veteran defenseman…

    Hawks already will have Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson & TvR on the blue line.

    I have personally seen enough that a bottom pair picking from Gustafsson, Rozsival & Svedberg is serviceable. And, most importantly, inexpensive. And Daley is still here.

    So where are you skating this veteran defenseman if the Hawks brought one in? Tampa, on the verge of having to pay Stamkos and others, isn’t going to eat half of Carle’s contract. Sorry. And half of Campbell’s cap hit is still north of $3.5M.

    If the Blackhawks add a body to the blue line, they’d have to move at least one young defenseman AND other assets (and let’s not kid ourselves that one of those assets is 29). I struggle to see a scenario where the Hawks bring in a veteran of any consequence without giving up a top tier prospect, and at this point in the season I’m not sprinting to throw in Andrew Shaw on a deal to rent a defenseman just because 15 games of Trevor Daley have sucked.

  • November 10, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Did the Brian Campbell hoopla start over at Hockeybuzz?

  • November 10, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Tab, totally agree on your assessment of the D.

    Let’s pray Stanbo can do magic and unload the Rundblad, Daley and Bickell contracts. In fact, “just some guys” Tikhonov (15 can translate for 72) and Garbutt can go in my opinion, as well. I think some of the younger guys bring more to the ice than these two. If he can move some of these guys, it opens cap flexibility. Then again, doing so would be akin to parting the Red Sea or trading Shaw straight up for Seth Jones (hahaha! My bad!!! LMAO!!!)

  • November 10, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Everyone is writing off Daley like they wrote off Vermette last year after a mediocre start. It takes time to adapt to Q’s system, and luckily there was enough time for Vermette to adapt and contribute. Daley has a much longer transition time than Vermette was afforded. Daley will be in the top four rotation by year end.

  • November 10, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Roster moves are definitely coming. I believe that Rundblad’s time here is over. He just isn’t a Blackhawks type of D mam.Trevor Daley is an NHL caliber D man, just not a Blackhawks type D man.
    The remainder of the season in Rockford would be ideal for the development of Svedberg and Gustafsson. Both have tremendous upside and potential.
    Bring in a Dman who has a little grit and toughness to his game. The league seems to be getting a little tougher this season. A 4 or 5 tough D man would fit the Hawks system.
    When ready, Cumiskey and Rozsival can platoon the 6 and 7 spots.

  • November 10, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    You skate a veteran defenseman at the #5 or #6 slot with Roszival as your #7. Svedberg and Gustafsson in Rockford as insurance in case of injuries … which inevitably happen.

    I don’t see them trading roster players away … they are not rebuilding or retooling this year, they are going for it.

    That leaves prospects and draft choices as currency, along with the other team picking up money. In Brian Campbell’s case (as one example), a lot of it.

    I’m not pining for Brian Campbell but you can well bet he’ll be a hot commodity at the trading deadline if he’s not moved before then. Solid veteran, durable, can help a playoff team, etc.

    The Blackhawks don’t have many draft choices to trade but they do have some prospects that’d interest other teams. It merits watching. If I’m predicting, I’d say a guy on an expiring contract – as suggested above guys with a lot of term left are not good fits here.

  • November 10, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Don’t look past the fact that Scotty and Stan do not trust young d-men. That being said the pylon is progressing nicely!

  • November 10, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Like Last year… I think the Hawks could actually use a quality forward (LW/C?) over a D- man… Hawks have several Plug in types right now on D side…

    They need someone who can help balance the forward scoring… which is really One line Heavy right now…

    Furthermore, I had same opinion last year ( and they were able to get both F/D)…

    BUT- in reality only Vermette was an asset… and a big difference maker in my Eyes… Hawks don’t win last year w/o him– imo

  • November 10, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Every team in the NHL can use better forwards, or at least a better forward or two. But defense wins, as does goaltending, and that’s where the Blackhawks system starts – in their own zone and coming out of it.

    I like TvR as much or more than most. The other two guys (Svedberg and Gustafsson) I like as well but I do think they are using the injuries as opportunities to get these guys some reps. Which is a fine strategy.

    That being said, veteran experienced defensemen are usually the difference makers come crunch time – and crunch time could come a lot earlier this year due to the competitiveness of the Western Conference.

    I’m not necessarily advocating for a move, but knowing how they operate and what they’ve done in the past, I see one coming. It will just be harder to make the move this year. To Wall’s point about forwards, certainly they wouldn’t turn down adding the right forward if it fits – I just do not see how the money works. They already subtracted the biggest underachieving forward they had for $950k cap space.

  • November 10, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Hawks are relatively deep up and down the lineup. They should develop what they have and use the press box and Rockford shuttle as needed. Once things settle down and they see who fits where, load up for the playoff run. It’s just too early right now.

  • November 10, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Trevor Daley hasn’t been mediocre. He’s been awful just like Bowman and Quenneville knew he would be. In hindsight. Bowman got completely bent over by Dallas on the Sharp trade because he was desperate for any net salary savings he could find. So yes we lost Sharp’s contract, but we had to eat the shit sandwich that is the Trevor Daley contract in the process. And toss in Stephen Johns to boot.

  • November 10, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Gustafsson might have a future, but he’s clearly not ready. Not for this team. I suspect he has more potential NHL future than Lurch, the Swedish pylon too. Which means he is the right guy to send back to Rockford for careful development and ample playing time.

    I don’t think you cut Runblad because the salary will still be a hit. And I’ve concluded that Runblad remains a pet project of Bowman that Quenneville acquiesces on because he doesn’t really care given there is available game time seat for him in the team luxury suite.

  • November 10, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Most overrated Hawk right now? Easy answer. Garbutt. I like him and he does bring grit and skating ability. But he is just a friggin guy and so please nobody get carried away into thinking he is a special project or anything. He’s Des Jardins with less hockey brains and better skating ability.

  • November 10, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    responses to Rufus’ “thoughts” –

    re: Bowman got completely bent over by Dallas on the Sharp trade – he got the cap space he needed to put a roster on the ice. And it wasn’t a total giveaway (see Campbell, Brian). Garbutt has some value & Dallas is paying half of his salary.

    re: the conclusion Rundblad remains a pet project of Bowman and Quenneville – like a Chia pet? Because, if they wanted him to develop, he wouldn’t be in the press box. His cap hit is low enough that they should punt him immediately.

    re: most overrated Hawk right now – disagree. Shaw’s had one good game in 15. Need more from him.

    Now that we’re done whining, maybe we can also recognize how well the Hawks did on the Columbus trade. Anisimov has been very good at 2C and Dano is coming along nicely.

  • November 10, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    I don’t think Q and Bowman thought Daley was going to be “awful”. But I haven’t asked either of them so I don’t really know. Gus and Sved have played a combined 19 more games this year than Stephen Johns, because Johns has yet to play a game for the big club this year… So maybe he really wasn’t that valuable after all. Maybe Bowman and Q knew something we didn’t. (see what I did there)

    Also Daley and Oduya’s stats are pretty close before coming to Chicago. Daley actually had 21 more points in his last full year with Dallas compared to Oduya’s last full year as a Thrasher. Daley posted a -13 while Oduya was -15 in their last full year with their previous clubs. Daley is also cheaper and 2 years younger. They both are even the same size.

    I don’t think Daley has played good so far. It took Oduya awhile to catch on to the system as I recall and others have mentioned on this board. Maybe Stan an Co. Wanted Daley. But what do I know I’m just a kid with a laptop looking at stats.

  • November 10, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Beat me to that one a little bit Tab…

    Tab, I love the Sadd trade and I was a huge Sadd fan!! One of my best friends is a die hard Jackets fan and he was giving me so much crap about that trade when it happened. He’s real quite about it now.

  • November 10, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    Selective reading Tab. I did not critique Bowman on the Dallas deal. Rather I suggested Dallas had him over a barrel because the Hawks HAD to find some sorta salary relief. Daley is awful, and the antithesis of a fit here. The Hawks knew what they were getting. But it was the price to pay to shave a couple of million dollars off the salary dilemma.

    Daley would be dumped in a second if there was a taker. Which there is not. And comparing him to Oduya? Well I won’t address the lunacy of that on any level.

  • November 10, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    The Saad deal had to be made. No question because bis salary demands could not fit. Anisimov was a nice get in the deal. And maybe so too Dano who has lots of potential. So yes Bowman did quite well under the circumstance. On Dano I will say this. He isn’t ready to play for this team yet. He is way more raw than I would have guessed he was. Needs a season in Rockford and an offseason immersing himself in this system.

  • November 10, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    In Trev Daley we have an elite point man on defense. He is every bit the player Brian Campbell is and very stout defensively as well. This Rufus guy talks out of his ass. We robbed Daley.

    Brandon Saad is a douche bag who didn’t want to play here anymore. And the BHawks converted him into a top 6 center man and one of the elite prospects in the game. We mugged Columbus.

  • November 10, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    There is no question Sharp had to be traded based upon his cap hit. Hereby stipulated. However, trading him to a division team was absolutely unnecessary and uncalled for — simply ignorant. Tab brings up a relevant comparison — Campbell was given away to an EASTERN CONF team. All Bowman had to do was trade Sharp to any Eastern Conf team within Sharp’s no trade parameters. Sharp has changed the entire complexion of Dallas team — not such a good thing when they’re in the same division as the Hawks. And they didnt gain that much cap relief as well — “giving” Sharp away would have likely allowed Saad to be re-signed as well (since Daley & Garbutt salaries wouldnt be on the Hawks’ books). Oh well….

  • November 10, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    “Trevor Daley is every bit the player that Brian Campbell is”………ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm……………..NO!!

    Trevor Daley is a great skater and adequate D man, but Brian Campbell he ain’t!!

    Daley will do much better when he gets used to the Hawk system. It took Richards and Vermette awhile to get going and Daley is playing a more difficult position when it comes to the Hawk system. Let’s evaluate this team around game #30.

  • November 10, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    It’s too early to make any long term decisions – the Hawks have played only 6 games with Keith in the lineup and Rozsival hasn’t played any yet. Daley may turn out to be just plain old bad, but he hasn’t been paired with Hjalmarsson the way Oduya was and he has been trying to learn how to play the way Q wants him to while playing with d-partners who are trying to learn how to play in the NHL. Ideally Rozsival comes back and is plays more like he did in the playoffs and not the regular season, but he may not even play well at all – we’ll have to wait and see.

    For all the line juggling Q has done with the forwards, the d-corps is even less settled. Ideally the Hawks would keep 8 d-men and 13 forwards while they sort out the best d-pairings, but the Hawks may not have the cap space for a 23 man roster when Keith comes off LTIR. With Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson, Daley, TvR and Rozsival – there may be only one spot left for one of Svedberg, Gustafsson and Rundblad.

    The lefty/righty thing may influence the decision as well. If the plan is to pair Daley with Hjalmarson, So with Keith and Seabrook at LD and RD, that leaves one LD and one RD to fill. Rundblad and Rozsival play RD exclusively. Svedberg plays LD and TvR plays RD but has played LD before.

    Jeez … I have no idea what will happen.

  • November 10, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    All I was sayin… last year Most people thought Hawks needed D man 1st/foremost at TDL…

    I thought Forward last year, and still think Forward this year…

    as it turned out… The “D” SB bought at TDL was a DUD… and di almost nothing to secure the “D side” of things,,,, while Vermette WAS a factor…

    Yes, Hof- D is what wins Championships…. But “D” doesn’t always/only Mean Defenseman… Toews/Hoss/Kruger all are great “D 1st guys” …

  • November 10, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Reg, I’m with you. Time will tell, though it may be running out. We’ll see. To me, it seems like Daley’s getting more comfortable with each game. I hope he finds his hockey mojo.

    So tired of the verbal toxic spill that is RTF. Rufus, just write Daley a fan letter, and make sure to tell him that you’re a defensive hockey expert and you think he sucks and should leave town. I’m sure that will solve it, and then you can finally move on.

  • November 11, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Hey Rufus, you need to come down off that tall soap box your lecturing from, there’s not a lot of oxygen for your brain up there & it shows in your posts……

    STUPID SEXY FLANDERS – Nice! Got a good chuckle from that one!

  • November 11, 2015 at 10:50 am

    I am happy to see Gus and Sved getting some NHL experience. When Keith comes back I’d like to see them stick around. Not sure about Rozy’s effectiveness after surgery at his age. Rufus, don’t always agree, but your comments spur good conversation. Keep it up.

  • November 11, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Rozsival was just on the edge last year physically and mentally . A year later and coming back from a gruesome injury does make you think he’s most likely just a 7 in the best case scenario
    I personally don’t see a role for him with the Hawks as I’d rather give ice time to Gustafsson and Svedberg… have them battle for the 6th-7th D spot.

    Svedberg and Sutafsson are indeed prospects, but they both are 23 years old. They are not teenagers.

    With van Riemsdyk clearly a Top 4 Dman for the Hawks they are in a pretty optimum position. Daley could also improve as he hasn’t been awful, just average.

  • November 11, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    A trade for a ‘veteran’ Dman makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

    If you really want to use resources the best way to do it is spending them towards trading Bickell.

    If you’re going to use draft picks and prospects wouldn’t you be best served using those X resources, adding some more (including maybe Dano) in order to trade/park Bickell to a rebuilding team with cap space and a cap floor to maintain ?

    That’s what I’d do. Spend everything possible towards trading Bickell and use Rozsival, Svedberg or Gustafsson as the 6th Dman. Not a bad place to be…just think of last years playoffs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *