Hello everyone, I'm Gatekeeper, but you can just call me Gate. A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I used to have content to provide for this here blog. I figured that it had been such a long time, that a formal introduction was needed. The words "LOCK OUT" have pretty much scared everyone away from doing anything hockey related, which leaves fans and bloggers to go into hibernation. Kind of like the hibernation that Dustin Byfuglien was apparently preparing for, when he attended Dave Bolland's wedding, in July. But, I digress; I'm still here and I'm looking forward to Hockey, whenever that may be.
On to better topics, the Blackhawks surprised the hell out of their fanbase Tuesday afternoon by announcing that they had signed 34 year old defenseman, and former Phoenix Coyote, Michal Rozsíval to a 1-year $2 million contract. Rozsíval is a 6'2", 210 pound second tier defender, that has been called soft a time or two. He had a couple of 30-40 point seasons with the Rangers, but those days are clearly behind him. He's probably going to play third pair somewhere, here in Chicago.
What does this mean? The big thing that sticks out is that the Blackhawks now have NINE defensemen with NHL experience, fighting for 6 spots. Seven spots if you count that nightly healthy scratch. For my money, this has to signal the end of Niklas Hjalmarsson's time here in Chicago. They would have a hard time carrying 8 defensemen, much less 9. Unless the brass are completely disappointed in Dylan Olsen's progress, they aren't sending him to Rockford. By all accounts, they are, in fact, very pleased with his progression, so someone has to go. I would put my bet on Hammer, especially if there is a salary rollback in the new CBA. Here is some Michal Rozsival for you:
Rozsival might be a little more famous for this hit this last year