The Chicago Blackhawks have freed up an additional $100K for next season after agreeing to a mutual termination of defenseman David Rundblad’s contract, according to salary cap tracking website General Fanager. Rundblad cleared waivers on July 1 but was never bought out. A buyout of his contract would have counted against the Blackhawks’ cap to the tune of $133,333K for 2016-17 and $183,333K in 2017-18. At the time Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman told CSN Chicago he wanted to “let him find a spot where he knows he’ll be a regular player every day”.
Rundblad had one season remaining on his contract at $1.05M. Had he decided to go back to play in Europe, the Blackhawks would have been hit with a $100K cap hit. The $100K is the difference between Rundblad’s salary and $950K, the maximum amount of cap relief per buried player.
Rundblad split the 2015-16 campaign between Chicago, their AHL affiliate Rockford Ice Hogs, and Zurich SC in the Swiss-A league. He left for Switzerland shortly after being assigned to the AHL, but returned in time to appear in three playoff games, going pointless as the Blackhawks were eliminated by St. Louis.
Once a highly-touted prospect, Rundblad played a total of 63 games with Chicago over three seasons after being acquired at the 2014 trade deadline from the then-Phoenix Coyotes for a second round pick. Runblad was originally picked 17th overall by the St. Louis Blues in 2009, but never played a game for them. At the 2010 draft, the Blues traded him to Ottawa for the 16th overall pick, which was used to select Vladimir Tarasenko. He lasted just 24 games with the Senators before being traded to Phoenix alongside a second round pick for disgruntled center Kyle Turris. Rundblad has scored 4 goals and 25 points in 113 NHL games over five seasons. Because Rundblad is right-handed and has shown offensive ability in the past (he has a 50-point campaign in Sweden and a 39-point one in the AHL), he would likely be a candidate for a training camp tryout this fall if he doesn’t return to Europe.
The Blackhawks now have $2.54MM in cap space for next season.