Chicago waived Rundblad on December 28 and reassigned him to the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL after he went unclaimed.
Rundblad never seems to have really clicked with head coach Joel Quenneville. The former 1st round draft pick, acquired from Arizona by trade, has been used sparingly, getting only nine games this season despite getting a two-year, $2.1 million contract extension from the team over the summer.
His extension may have had something to do with question marks on the blue line for the team during the summer as they struggled with cap issues, young players entering the NHL full-time and the loss of Johnny Oduya. But Rundblad was never a player Quenneville seemed to feel comfortable turning to. When it came down to it, they’d give players like Viktor Svedberg and Erik Gustafsson a shot when they needed someone to enter the lineup.
According to General Fanager the team will carry a cap hit of $100,000 in buried salary for Rundblad while he plays in Europe.
He’ll join a ZSC Lions team that’s pretty strong and has a lot of young players that have been succeeding in the World Juniors like Auston Matthews, Denis Malgin, Pius Suter and Jonas Siegenthaler. They are coached by former Colorado Avalanche bench boss Marc Crawford.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.