ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO / WQRF) – In January, Malcolm Subban competed for the number one goalie position with the Chicago Blackhawks. Now he’s part of a glut of goalies in the organization competing for ice time at Rockford with the AHL IceHogs.
Subban appeared in 16 games for the Blackhawks last season. He’s had two shutouts, but Kevin Lankinen edged him out as the season progressed, and when Marc-André Fleury was recruited this summer there was no room for Subban in the parent roster. . So for now it’s an insurance policy, and he stays ready at Rockford ”
“Me and Petey (goaltender coach Peter Aubry) worked on a lot of things here,” Subban said. I think it helped me. My game has improved. This is obviously the main objective.
Subban made 74 NHL starts during his career with Boston, Vegas and the Blackhawks. He even has a 36-31 winning record. It’s never easy for a player with extensive NHL experience to be sent to the AHL.
“When it first happened, for me it was obviously disappointing,” said Subban. “You know, this summer was probably the most dedicated summer I ever had hoping to get an opportunity and obviously getting fired was tough. At the same time, you realize that you are getting paid to do a job.
Subban got off to a rough start in the IceHogs’ season opener, a 6-1 loss at Grand Rapids. He notched his first victory last Sunday making 34 saves in a 4-3 win over Manitoba. But young Arvid Soderblom gets most 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 he doesn’t see the action of the game frequently.
“It’s always tough, but I think you know you have to use your training for your game. I’ve been in situations like this before. This is nothing new, I think I just have to do it, don’t lose your focus during training and stuff and keep my training habits.
Subban will be 28 in December.