The Chicago Blackhawks have brought in four more players on professional tryout contracts, all four of which have played for Chicago previously in their careers. In the case of defensemen Kyle Cumiskey and Michal Rozsival, that was last season. For forwards Tomas Kopecky (who we reported earlier in the summer was interested in returning to Chicago) and Jake Dowell, it’s been a few years.
Rozsival was a big part of the organization last season, playing 65 games and helping shore up what was considered to be a shaky bottom end of the team’s depth chart. The importance of his role with the team was highlighted when he was injured in the team’s second round series against the Minnesota Wild and didn’t return to the playoffs. There were already concerns about the team’s defensive depth with Kimmo Timonen playing slight worse than a one string guitar.
The 33-year-old Kopecky was a part of the first Chicago team to win a Cup in the current run, back in 2010. Through 17 playoff games that season, Kopecky scored four goals and two assists.
Previously in his career, he’s provided solid depth scoring and a reliable center who can play at both ends of the rink, but his production has trailed off considerably in the last two seasons, with him playing just 49 games in the 2013-14 season, posting four goals and eight assists and then continuing the decline with two goals and six assists through 64 games last year.
Cumiskey found his way into just seven games for the ‘Hawks last season, his first year with the club. He spent the previous five seasons inside the Colorado Avalanche organization, only crossing 40 games in a season once. Through six NHL seasons he’s played a total of 139 games with nine goals and 26 assists.
Dowell, 30, was a 2004 5th round draft pick for Chicago. He grabbed NHL time with the club in four seasons, peaking with 79 games in the 2010-11 season. He then moved to the Dallas Stars and the Minnesota Wild before spending all of last season with AHL Hamilton in a leadership role.
Lots of familiar names are taking PTOs this season. Keep up with all the tryout contracts with The Hockey Writers’ 2015 PTO Tracker.
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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.