JETS RE-SIGN MACHACEK; BLACKHAWKS SIGN ROZSIVAL

As per TSN, the Winnipeg Jets have re-signed perennial forward prospect Spencer Machacek to a new contract; terms have not been disclosed (inexplicably, in this day and age really), but an “educated” guess would put it as a two-way, one or two year deal for certainly less than $1m.  Machacek has been a quality minor league forward since he first entered pro hockey, routinely putting up 20+ goals – he put up 18 goals and 32 assists in just 61 games this year – but has never seemed to be able to make much of his NHL opportunities, appearing in 12 NHL games prior to the 11-12 season with the then-Atlanta Thrashers but failing to put up a single point.  That changed this year as he astonishingly put up 2 goals and 9 points in 13 games with Winnipeg, pretty darn good production.  It should be realised however, that this was a tiny sample size, and should not be seen as indicative of his NHL ability, but rather more likely a hot streak.  However, for a guy that has failed to grab hold of opportunities in the past and was ready to be deemed a career minor leaguer, this could be a lifeline for him, as it will give him some caché going forward, and possibly even a chance to make the Jets on a more permanent basis, or at the very least given a bigger opportunity to see what he can do.

TSN also reports that the Chicago Blackhawks have signed veteran defenceman Michal Rozsival to a one-year deal, shoring up their already pretty solid blueline.  Here is the press release:

The Chicago Blackhawks have reached a contract agreement with defenceman Michal Rozsival on a one-year deal. Terms were not disclosed.

The 34-year-old Rozsival had a goal and 12 assists in 54 games for the Phoenix Coyotes last season and helped them reach the Western Conference finals. In 15 playoff games, he recorded 31 hits and blocked 28 shots.

A fourth-round draft choice of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1996, Rozsival has played in 756 career regular-season NHL games with the Penguins, Rangers and Coyotes and has totalled 64 goals and 196 assists. He has been in the playoff seven times with four goals and 12 assists.

Rozsival was one of the few quality defenders left on the free agent market; I’m surprised it took this long for a team to sign him and fans from many teams were hoping he would be picked up, as he provides a solid, consistent presence.  Whilst not the two-way force he once was, he still is capable of pushing the play in the right direction against above-average competition, and last season played heavy minutes (19:19 per game) on a good Phoenix team, being particularly relied upon on the PK where he played nearly 2 minutes per game.  Rob Vollman described him as a “reliable veteran”, and that’s exactly what he is.  I’ll be interested to see the dollar amount on the contract, but it doesn’t really matter as it’s only a 1 year deal and for a very good player.  Good signing by the Hawks.

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