Rangers Re-Sign Defenseman Rozsival

Czech veteran was team's top-scoring blueliner last season

Tuesday, 07.01.2008 / 9:01 PM / News
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Rangers Re-Sign Defenseman Rozsival

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New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent defenseman Michal Rozsival.

Michal Rozsival, who joined the Rangers in 2005, led the team in average time on ice per game for the past two seasons.
Rozsival, 29, appeared in 80 games with the Rangers this past season, registering 13 goals and 25 assists for 38 points, along with 80 penalty minutes. He led all club defensemen in goals (13), assists (25) and points (38), and his 13 goals tied for seventh among all NHL defensemen. He also led the Rangers in average icetime (24:33) and blocked shots (128).

Rozsival notched his first career shorthanded goal on November 17 at Pittsburgh, and tallied his second career shorthanded marker two days later vs. the Islanders. In the season opener, he registered the Rangers’ first goal of the season at 0:37 of the first period, while skating in his 400th NHL contest. In addition, Rozsival led the Rangers during the post-season in average icetime (25:04), tied for first on the team in blocked shots (16), ranked fourth in assists (five), and tied for sixth in points (six). His six points also tied for 10th among all NHL defensemen in the playoffs.

In 2006-07, Rozsival led the Rangers in average icetime (23:46), and ranked first on the team among defensemen in goals (10), assists (30), points (40), power play goals (seven) and shots (104). He established career-highs in assists and points, reaching the 30-assist and 40-point plateaus for the first time in his career.

He also set career-marks in goals, power play goals and average icetime. In addition, he led the team with 161 blocked shots and tied for fourth with three game-winning goals. On March 25, he registered his 100th career assist at the Islanders. In the 2007 playoffs, Rozsival tied for eighth among league defensemen with seven points (three goals and four assists), and led the Rangers in average icetime (24:44) and blocked shots (25). He notched his first career playoff overtime goal on April 29 vs. Buffalo at 16:43 of the second overtime period.

The 6-2, 210-pounder has skated in 479 career regular season contests with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Rangers, registering 46 goals and 127 assists for 173 points, along with a plus-48 rating and 383 penalty minutes. He tallied his first NHL point with an assist on October 8, 1999 vs. Colorado, and notched his first career goal on December 15, 1999 at Carolina. He finished his rookie season ranked third among all rookie defensemen in assists (17) and tied for third in points (21). In 2005-06, Rozsival tied for the league lead in plus/minus rating with a plus-35 rating.

In post-season play, Rozsival has appeared in 26 career contests with the Penguins and Rangers, registering four goals and 10 assists for 14 points, along with 32 penalty minutes. He tallied his first career playoff point with an assist on April 29, 2006, vs. New Jersey.

Internationally, Rozsival represented the Czech Republic at the 2008 IIHF World Championships in Canada, appearing in four games and finishing fourth on the team in average icetime (20:10).

The Vlasim, Czech Republic native was originally Pittsburgh’s fourth round choice, 105th overall, in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.