Should the Blackhawks be shopping for Jan Rutta?

Published July 24, 2023 at 11:58 PM

Jan Rutta is a 6'3», 204 pound defenseman on the Tampa Bay Lightning. In the 2021-2022 season, he recorded 18 points (3G, 15A) in 76 games, with 71 blocks and 93 hits. Rutta will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer; would his veteran presence be an asset to the Blackhawks?

Although Kyle Davidson has a plethora of young defensemen on the rise, it's possible that having a player with back to back cups could help mentor them. He's a bigger guy, which is also something Davidson seems to appreciate.

Pairing Rutta with a player like Alec Regula or Alex Vlasic would be dangerous. It would also be another veteran/rookie duo alongside Seth Jones and maybe someone like Nicolas Beaudin or Ian Mitchell.

Having him come back for the rebuild seems like a good idea, but there's also a lot of older defenseman who are taking up space Rutta could fill. If players such as Erik Gustafsson, Jake McCabe and Calvin de Haan end up getting traded or offered a contract somewhere else, Rutta receiving an offer from Chicago seems more likely.

Rutta also seems relatively inexpensive; his contract with the Lightning was a 2-year, $2,600,000 with a $1,300,000 cap hit. His asking price might go up after being a part of a possible threepeat cup-winning team. If Chicago prioritizes him it's possible he might want to make a return, and if he's offered enough money.

I think if he ends up signing here, he should be the one of the only older players on the ice alongside Jones and Connor Murphy. Together, they can both raise up some of the rookie defensemen and get them up to speed in the rebuild.

Idea via BlackhawkUp.com
July 24   |   170 answers
Should the Blackhawks be shopping for Jan Rutta?

Would you like to see Jan Rutta return to the Hawks?

Yes!3621.2 %
No, too many old defensemen.7242.4 %
If it helps the rebuild then I'm for it!2414.1 %
Who?3822.4 %
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