After his agent revealed that he was close to a decision last week, Jan Rutta is in the news again today. The Athletic’s Scott Powers reports that the Chicago Blackhawks are still in contention for the Czech defender following his excellent performance at the World Championships. Darren Dreger of TSN had previously reported that both Edmonton and Calgary were also in the mix for the 26-year old.
It’s worthwhile to note that Rutta’s Czech teammate David Kampf has already signed with the Blackhawks, likely giving them a good understanding of what he can bring to the table after scouting him thoroughly this season. Where Rutta would fit into the Hawks’ defensive scheme going forward is unclear, though they will certainly need players on entry-level contracts to contribute this season as they are up against the cap again.
With the team seemingly about to lose Trevor van Riemsdyk in the expansion draft, many have called to try and get Brent Seabrook to waive his no-movement clause and accept a trade somewhere. The team desperately needs the cap room, and could use players like Rutta or Ville Pokka—who needs a new deal himself—to fill the minutes on the blueline.