Unlike losing Jakob Silfverberg or returning Mika Zibanejad to the Swedish Elite League for another year, Rundblad has already dominated at (at least offensively) at that level and has nothing left to prove there. For a player who could use an extended adjmustment to the North American game, the possibility that he could pack his bags and head back to Europe is disappointing but hopefully it will never be realized.
Reading Tim Murray’s comments on Joy Lindsay’s blog, it’s not a secret that the Senators organization wants to keep him on this side of the pond.
“Obviously, his hope is to make the (NHL) team out of camp,” said Senators assistant general manager Tim Murray. “There’s a competition here. Brian Lee was great last night. Jared Cowen’s been very good in the two games here. We still have five games to go, and things can change. But if he (Rundblad) doesn’t make the team out of camp, I personally would hope he would go to the American Hockey League.
“He does have an out to go back to Europe, but with what he accomplished back in Sweden last year (leading SEL defenseman with 50 points), I think it’s time for him to move on. I think it’s time for him to play in North America, whether that’s here or starting the year in Binghamton.”
Taking management at their word, I have to believe that Rundblad will be ready to play in the NHL at some point this season. It’s just a matter of an injury, the trade of an incumbent veteran or Rundblad earning the job with a strong finish to his preseason. ~ The 6th Sens, September 23rd, 2011.
David Rundblad, that sound you hear is opportunity knocking at your door.
Now that it has been reported that defenceman Matt Carkner had knee surgery this morning to repair damage to the same knee that ended his 2010-11 season, Rundblad has at least a four-to-six week window of opportunity to accustom himself and establish himself as a NHL regular.
Perhaps more importantly, now that Carkner is unavailable to play for at least the first month of the regular season, there’s an equal opportunity for Filip Kuba to create a trade market and hopefully allow management to fetch a future asset for the impending UFA.