Defenseman Michal Rozsival suffered a fractured left ankle in the Blackhawks’ 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night and “is not expected to return to full hockey activity until next season,” team head physician, Dr. Michael Terry said in a statement released by the team Friday afternoon.
Rozsival, 36, suffered the injury in the second period, while back-pedaling at his blue line. As he fell to the ice, his left ankle turned grotesquely and he was on the ice for several minutes and had to be helped to the Hawks bench and dressing room.
David Rundblad, who scored three goals and 14 points and was a plus-17 in 49 games in the regular season, is the top candidate to replace Roszival on the game-day roster. Rundblad, 24, has played in 104 NHL regular-season games, but has yet to appear in a Stanley Cup playoff game.
The other defensemen on the playoff roster are veteran Kyle Cumiskey and rookie Michael Paliotta. Cumiskey is the only one who has playoff experience — he scored one goal and two points and was a minus-7 in six games with the Colorado Avalanche in 2010 against San Jose. Paliotta was just signed by the Hawks in March and has appeared in one regular-season game.