Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival signs in Czech Republic

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Veteran defenseman Michal Rozsival, Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman’s final signing of the summer, is the second Hawks player to sign overseas during the lockout.

Rozsival will apparently be joining Plzen of the Czech Extraliga, according to Czech media reports on Tuesday. Winger Michael Frolik was the first Hawks player to sign in Europe, signing with Chomutov of the Czech Extraliga last week.

Like Frolik, Rozsival is from the Czech Republic. He’s from Vlasim in the Czech Republic, which is about two hours away from Plzen.

Rozsival signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Hawks on Sept. 11. The 34-year-old had 13 points (one goal), 34 penalty minutes and a plus-8 rating in 54 regular-season games with the Phoenix Coyotes last season. He also was effective in the postseason, recording 31 hits and 28 blocked shots in 15 games as the Coyotes eliminated the Hawks in the first round.

The NHL and the NHL Players’ Association are scheduled to hold their first formal negotiations since the lockout began in New York on Friday. Core economic issues, including the sharing of hockey-related revenue, have stalled talks, but are not on the agenda.

The union and league will look at other issues, including contract lengths, salary arbitration, pensions, travel, insurance, scheduling, discipline and so on.

The league, though, is still expected to cancel the remainder of the preseason this week. The Hawks have two games left — Oct. 5 at Pittsburgh and Oct. 6 against Philadelphia — after the initial cancellations.

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