Subban trying to work his way back to the NHL with the Rockford IceHogs

NHL

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) –In January Malcolm Subban was competing for the number one goaltender job with the Chicago Blackhawks. Now he’s part of a glut of goaltenders in the organization competing for ice time in Rockford with the AHL IceHogs.

Subban appeared in 16 games for the Blackhawks last season. He had two shutouts, but Kevin Lankinen move ahead of him as the season went along, and when Marc-Andre Fleury was brought in this summer there wasn’t room for Subban on the parent team’s roster. So for now, he’s an insurance policy, and he’s staying ready in Rockford”

“Me and Petey (goaltender coach Peter Aubry) have been working on a lot of stuff here,” said Subban. I think it’s been helping me. My game has been improving. That’s obviously the main focus.”

Subban has made 74 NHL starts in his career with Boston, Vegas, and the Blackhawks. He even has a winning record 36-31. It’s never easy for a player who’s had extensive NHL experience to get sent down to the AHL.

“When it first happened, for me it was obviously disappointing,” said Subban. “You know this summer that was probably the most dedicated summer I had ever just coming in hoping to get an opportunity and obviously getting sent down it was tough. At the same time, you realize you’re getting paid to do a job.”

Subban got off to a rocky start in the IceHogs’ season opener, a 6-1 loss at Grand Rapids. He notched his first win last Sunday when he made 34 saves in a 4-3 win against Manitoba. But the younger Arvid Soderblom is getting the bulk of the playing time in goal with the IceHogs. The Blackhawks want to see Soderblom develop and grow.

So Subban waits his turn. I asked him how hard it is to get into a rhythm when h’s not seeing frequetn game action.

“That’s always tough, but I think you know you’ve got to use your practices at your game. I’ve been in situations like this before. It’s nothing new I think I’ve just got to, just don’t lose focus in practice and stuff and keep up my practice habits.”

Subban turns 28 in December.

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