37-Year-Old Defenseman – Chicago Blackhawks
Michal Rozsival Contract Information:
Signed a one-year, $600,000 contract with the Blackhawks in September 2015. Deal also includes up to $200,000 in performance bonuses.
Rozsival (ankle) was activated from injured reserve Friday.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Michal Rozsival.
Rozsival is on the downside of his career and will fill the role of the Hawks' number sixth or seventh defender. He'll bring the Hawks' some veteran leadership on the ice, but nothing in the fantasy arena.
Rozsival was very effective as the team's sixth blue liner in 2012-13, so much so that the Blackhawks wanted the soon-to-be 35-year-old back for 2013-14. After coming over from Phoenix, he collected a dozen assists in 27 games and had the best plus/minus (plus-18) among Blackhawks defenseman. He's only valuable in the deepest of leagues, though -- his ceiling is 25 points with little to no time played on the power play.
Rozsival, who was acquired from the Rangers last season, tallied 21 points in 65 games last season, with three goals and three assists coming in 33 contests with Phoenix. With a plus-3 rating, he was a fringe fantasy option at best. He's proven that he's capable of producing 20-point seasons and it certainly isn't out of the question to see him reach 15 assists in 2011-12.
Coming up on the third year of a four-year, $20 million deal with the Rangers, Rozsival will look to build off what was arguably his worst year in the NHL. The veteran defenseman chipped in just three goals and 20 assists while playing in all 82 games for the Rangers. Rozsival has been on a steady decline with his points production since the 2006-07 season when he had 10 goals and 30 assists. With youngsters like Michael Del Zotto, Marc Staal, Dan Girardi and Matt Gilroy ahead of him on the depth chart, it will be hard for Rozsival to play a major role for the Rangers on the blue line. The former Pittsburgh Penguin will probably finish with around 30 points and 60-plus PIMs, but at just 31 years of age, Rozsival has an outside chance at cracking 40 points if he is able to rediscover his talent from three seasons ago.
Rozsival was a big part of the Blueshirts' power play attack last season - though it was one of the league's worst. He was second on the team with 11 assists with the man advantage and added three goals. He should retain his role on the team and put up overall numbers close to last year's production.
Rozsival had 13 goals and 38 points last season to lead the Rangers defenseman. Even with addition of Wade Redden and Dimitri Kalinin, he will still man the point on the power play. One thing to remember, if the Rangers were to sign free agent Mats Sundin, Rozsival has been the player mentioned that the Rangers would have to trade to make room under the salary cap.
Rozsival is as steady as they come, and will continue to be the Rangers pseudo No.1 blueliner until someone else can step up and tell everyone otherwise. He'll get power play minutes, penalty kills -- he can do it all. If you can get him late, he'll make an excellent 4th or 5th defenseman on your roster.
Rozsival had himself career season in 2005-06. He played in 82 games, registering five goals and 25 assists, along with 90 penalty minutes and a plus-35 on even strength shifts (the plus/minus rating was tied for best in the league). While these are great statistics for a defenseman, we caution if they were somewhat inflated playing with a locked-in Jagr all season long. Additionally, rising youngsters such as Pock, Staal, Rachunek and Tyutin could certainly steal minutes away from Rozsival, making him a good candidate to avoid selecting high on draft day.
Rozsival is a steady defenseman with good upside, and fits into the Rangers "new" model of building with youth. He did miss the 2003-04 season with cartilage damage to his knee, but showed that his injury isn't a factor by appearing in 51 games last year for the HC Ocelari Trinec and HC Moeller Pardubice of the Czech Republic Extraleague, registering two goals, 13 assists and 70 penalty minutes.