He is 34, in his 12th NHL season, yet the Chicago Blackhawks feel they hit the jackpot when they signed Michal Rozsival as a free agent before this season.
Rozsival has seven assists in only 16 games, has a whopping plus-14 rating ' only Jonathan Toews, at plus-17, is higher with the Hawks ' and has formed a nice third blue-line tandem with Nick Leddy while sharing time with the more physically oriented Sheldon Brookbank. Rozsival was signed for his defensive skills more than for offense. But freed from the shackles of the Phoenix Coyotes' defensive-minded system, he has turned back the clock and looked like the more offensively gifted player he was with the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers. ''The way this team is playing, it's pretty much offensive-minded throughout the lineup,'' Rozsival said. ''I don't think anybody would be happy if I was just dumping the pucks off the glass on this team, so I'm trying to do my best. I knew I was able to play offense.'' ''His patience with the puck, the level that he's played with the puck, is one thing maybe I undervalued,'' Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said.