After the first five d-men we’ve previewed, the Hawks have a mishmash of humanity that’s hard to make sense of. So we’ll just group them all together and see what we have. That might not be fair to David Rundblad, but I don’t think he’s going to come and plead his case, and I also doubt he’s going to be a mainstay in the lineup anyway. But we’ll start with him.
David Rundblad – We know Stan is going to force feed him into the lineup and give himself every chance to justify giving up a second round pick for him for… reasons. That doesn’t mean Rundblad is going to have the inside track on the #6 spot, because Q will eat his entire cigar collection if that were to happen.
When I look real hard, I think I can see what Stan sees in Rundblad. He does have a big shot. He does get it through. He does make a nice pass when he gets time. But that’s the caveat. “When he gets time.” Runds needs about five minutes to make that pass. Or get that shot off. And while he does have instincts on how to get into open ice and free himself up, he doesn’t have the feet to get him there in time.
It’s like Rundblad’s skills and skates are mismatched. He wants to play a puck-moving, aggressive game, but he’s got free safety feet. I can’t think of an offensive d-men who couldn’t skate really well. I thought it was Anton Stralman, but after watching him for six games in June he’s a far better skater than Rundblad. Combine that with Rundblad’s defensive allergies, his lack of physical stability when engaged along the boards, and it’s really hard to say what it is, in fact, that Rundblad gives you.