Kostka, Nordstrom best fits for Hawks

Kostka, Nordstrom best fits for Hawks

Posted by TimS on Mon, 09/30/2013 - 20:13

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Mike Kostka was a better fit on defense than Ryan Stanton because "offensively he really compliments our style of play."

Kostka won the eighth job on defense over Stanton, who was waived and claimed by the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.

"He's one of those defensemen who is useful as far as both sides of the puck," Quenneville said of Kostka. "He can give us some nice offense from the back end and is versatile and can defend well. He's very handy with the puck.

"Last year for the majority of the season (in Toronto), he was playing against the other team's top lines and handled it very well."

Kostka, who appeared in 35 games for the Maple Leafs, feels the gamble that came with coming to a championship team with what appeared to be a set defense as a free agent paid off.

"Coming into it I was hoping to put my best foot forward and I think I did," Kostka said. "Of all the places I didn't think this was going to be one of them, but I'm thrilled they gave me the opportunity.

"The one thing that really was attractive here is that it's a puck moving team. They've got awesome forwards where it's basically just get them the puck and get into the play. That's the style I like to play.

"In Toronto, it was more of a defensive-minded team so it's a breath of fresh air coming here. I feel like I jell a little more with the style of play than in a shutdown role."

Swede Joakim Nordstrom also made the team as the fourth line right wing and will kill penalties with Marcus Kruger in Michael Frolik's old role.

"I think I played consistent in all the games and played good defensively and played good, smart hockey," Nordstrom said. "I don't think I was a long shot, but I knew there was an opportunity that I could make the team and I knew what I had to do."

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