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Welcome to The Real DFG's Pittsburgh Penguin Autograph Project. My goal is to eventually try and get at least one autograph of every player to lace up the skates in an NHL game for the Pittsburgh Penguins. It could have been for one game or 700 games, I will add them. Occasionally I may post cards of former players in their new team uniforms. While the goal is to get autos in Pens uni's, it isn't always possible. Since the team has been in existence since 1967, the list is pretty large. Last I checked, it was somewhere in the range of 624 different players. Currently, I sit at about 100 autographs (with some duplication). Enjoy the posts.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Michal Rozsival

Here we have another former Penguin that now has a Cup with another team. The Chicago Blackhawks signed Rozsival back in September during the lockout with the hopes of adding some depth to their defense. He ended up contributing 12 points in 27 games last season but chipped in big in the Finals. He was the one that shot the puck in the game 1 triple overtime winner that deflected off Bolland and Shaw (a flare for the dramatic like he previously showed in a 2007 game against the Sabres while playing for the Rangers). They just gave him a 2 year extension as a reward for his play this year, too.

Rozsival was picked 105th overall by the Pens in the 1996 NHL entry draft. The biggest question mark on Rozsival was whether he could play North American style hockey. So before playing any NHL games, he moved to Canada and played 3 seasons in the minors before joining the Pens during the 1999-00 season.

He played the better part of the next 4 seasons in Pittsburgh, appearing in 237 games and recording 65 points, mostly on the power play. He was a solid defenseman that always played his game and he always played it hard. His only downfall was his skating ability and speed on the ice. I remember watching him at times wondering if he was in slow motion compared to everyone else.

The Rangers picked him up after the lock-out season in 2004-05, where he had played in the Czech Republic. For the next 5 years in New York, he played in every regular season game but 10. But an injury took cut the 2010-11 season short and he was dealt to Phoenix for Wojtek Wolski. He was one of the reasons Phoenix made it all the way to the Western Conference finals that year against the Los Angeles Kings.

This card comes from the 2000-01 Be A Player Signature Series. You can see his signature is actually somewhat readable and he signs with his jersey number "28". I have a few other Rozsival autos too that will most likely end up on here at some point.

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