While much of the Senators world is buzzing because Daniel Alfredsson skated for the first time since undergoing back surgery, an under-the-radar article written about David Rundblad by Jonas Falhman has slowly been making the rounds on the Interwebs.
Although the article is written in Swedish, its contents have been loosely translated for The 6th Sens readers by @steffeG. (Do yourself a favour and follow him on Twitter.) According to him, the 2011 Hockey's Future Prospect of the Year makes two 'meaty' revelations.
On the question marks surrounding his defensive aptitude:
"It seems I'm going to have to live with them (defence critiques) my whole career. I'll never be a good defensive defenceman. It will just be like that. I'm gonna try the more advanced passes and complicated solutions. I'll have to compensate by being a really good offensive player."
Uh-oh. Something tells me that is not going to fly well with the cynical more scraps & bodycheckin' crowd that reserves Jason Spezza'esque levels of scrutiny for the team's creative offensive players. I can already hear the insufferable bastards now, "Great, our best prospect sounds like he's the next Marc-Andre Bergeron!"
On the prospect of playing in the AHL:
"Not afraid, but I know a lot of the players have to take that route before they get to the NHL. It's part of the development process. Of course I'd like to be in the NHL right away, but I trust Ottawa to make the right decision for me."
To add some context to Rundblad's willingness to play in the AHL if need be, steffeG wanted to reiterate that "with so many players in recent years playing in SEL rather than the AHL, the general Swedish hockey fan doesn't understand the point of playing in the AHL over the Swedish Elite League (SEL). I'm glad to see David understands it's not all about the quality of competition but also the changes in style."
Agreed. And if Rundblad struggles in camp or the preseason, the Senators could afford him the opportunity to play more minutes and develop in the AHL to start the season. Of course the added benefit to this is that would also allow them to avoid the headache of having to create a roster spot for him and risk trading a serviceable veteran like Sergei Gonchar and Filip Kuba while their respective values are low.
Alfie Speaks About His First Skate
From the Senators website...
I don;t think I'll be comparing Rundblad to Bergeron, but...at some point he and Karlsson need to get on board the "D-Train". It irks me that a guy like Dougty can play both ends of the ice at an early age, Chara can do it too (yes, I know it's Big Z) and so can other players but Karlsson and Rundblad it's like "Eeeeeh, defense, whatev I'll just rush the puck. If they outscore us so what." If the goal is to win a Stanley Cup, then a team approach, and that means sometimes 2-1 games and 3-2 games, is key. If the goal is for Karlssn and Rundblad to just run wild all over the ice and not pay attention to defensive responsibilities, super but we're going to be looking at a lot of first round exits and learning until they get that aspect of their game polished. Better to polish early than later no?
@SteveHL After listening to Dorion speak on 1200 this morning, I'm inclined to chalk this up to a kid downplaying his defensive ability when in fact, it's more than adequate.