The Phoenix Coyotes are known for their defensive depth, but that depth could be taking a major hit this offseason. First, RFA Maxim Goncharov signed with SKA Saint Petersburg of the KHL. Now, multiple reports indicate that another Coyotes RFA defenseman may do the same.
According to a Swedish newspaper #Coyotes RFA D David Rundblad may follow D Max Goncharov & sign w/ #KHL per his agent. #Pirates #mesports— Chris Roy (@Chris_MHJ) June 13, 2013
Both Roy and Mattias Ek of Swedish newspaper Expressen, have reported that a move from North America to the KHL is a very real possibility.
Rundblad is a 22-year-old from Lycksele, Sweden who was acquired by Phoenix via trade in December of 2011. The Yotes sent Kyle Turris to Ottawa in exchange for Rundblad and a second round pick that was eventually used in deal with Columbus (along with Curtis McElhinney and a conditional pick) to obtain Antoine Vermette.
Since coming over from Ottawa, the young Swede has played 14 games with the main club recording four assists and no goals. In his 38 career NHL games, Rundblad has scored one goal and eight points.
The 22-year-old played 50 games for the Coyotes' AHL affiliate Portland Pirates. He recorded nine goals and 39 points in those 50 games.
While Goncharov was unlikely to see NHL minutes anytime soon, the loss of Rundblad could hurt a Yotes team already a bit thin on right-hand-shot defensemen.
UPDATE: The following two tweets from Roy share Portland GM and Phoenix Assistant GM Brad Treliving's thoughts on Rundblad and Goncharov.
#Coyotes Asst. GM also believes Swedish article is wrong. Expects Rundblad to stay in N/A and a contract worked out soon. #Pirates— Chris Roy (@Chris_MHJ) June 13, 2013
Treliving said that #Coyotes D Max Goncharov signed a "summer contract" with #CSKA. It's expected to expire in August. #Pirates— Chris Roy (@Chris_MHJ) June 13, 2013