Rob Scuderi didn’t foresee getting traded when it happened late Monday night but he’s all right with the result.
“Once you hear the team come through, it can’t help but put a smile on your face,” said Scuderi, who was acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Trevor Daley. “You’re coming to a team that’s dominated its championship pedigree for five, six years now. To be a part of this group is an honor and I hope I can contribute.”
Scuderi will find out if he can do that starting Tuesday night, when the Blackhawks host the Colorado Avalanche. Coach Joel Quenneville said Scuderi pair with Michal Rozsival; Rozsival was a healthy scratch the previous two games. With Scuderi, the Blackhawks get a stay-at-home defenseman who should also help them on the penalty kill.
[MORE HAWKS: Blackhawks acquire Scuderi from Pittsburgh for Daley]
“Yeah, Rob’s definitely that type of defenseman: safe, reliable, dependable on the back end, simple. And he can kill penalties for us, has good experience,” Quenneville said. “We’ll see how it fits in but I think he can help us.”
In the deal, the Penguins claimed all of Daley’s cap hit and retained one-third of Scuderi’s hit. The Blackhawks picked up the remaining two-thirds of Scuderi’s money ($2.25-million per season). The cap space the Blackhawks get from this — just under $2.2 million, per generalfanager.com — was also a big selling point in the deal.
“[Scuderi] has won a couple of Stanley Cups and it’s never a bad thing to bring someone in with experience,” general manager Stan Bowman said. "He knows how to win and he’s been on good teams. The other part of it is we have some flexibility, some salary-cap room, something we’ve been looking for. It’s always going to be challenge regarding that going forward, but looking at our situation now, we find someone who will fit in nice with us, his style fits our play and he compliments the guys we already have.”
With Daley, the Blackhawks had hoped there would be a fit. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. Daley was playing better as of late but he the offense didn’t really materialize — outside of six assists — and he wasn’t playing the type of minutes he was during his Dallas Stars days.
“I think sometimes things just don’t work the way you draw them up,” Bowman said. “Trevor has a lot of talent and we certainly wish him well. He’s a class act. Sometimes it doesn’t work the way you expect it to. I think he’ll have a great opportunity to go there and play a lot and hopefully he helps them. I think it’s going to be one of those trades that works for both teams.”
Daley played nearly 23 minutes a game when he was with the Stars. With the Blackhawks, he averaged about 15 minutes a night.
“In his case, [Daley] didn’t get a chance to play the big minutes he was accustomed to playing. And right off the bat, it just wasn’t’ happening,” Quenneville said. “Sometimes it works out; it didn’t here. But I think he can help Pittsburgh. I think he was good in Dallas. He wasn’t here long enough to get a good assessment but his offense in games was coming along for us and defensively he was progressing as well. It’s a situation where both teams were probably looking for the type of defenseman to fit our needs.”
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
The Blackhawks wanted more of a stay-at-home guy on the blue line. They also wanted help on the penalty kill.
“We have four guys we use right now who are good penalty killers, but when one takes a penalty you’re short,” Bowman said. “That’s the strength of Rob’s game.”
Scuderi also knows how to play in big-game situations; he won his first Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009 and his second with the Los Angeles Kings in 2012. Scuderi isn’t here to take on massive minutes; he’s here to enhance what the Blackhawks already have.
“I’m just going to make the simple play. If I have a few seconds I’ll find the open man but for the most part I’ll keep things simple, keep the puck moving north,” Scuderi said. “With all the talent up front up here, it makes sense to get the puck in their hands and let them take care of business. I’m not a flashy player, chances are if you notice me it’s because I made a nice play or a bad play. But most nights I’m invisible and that means I’m doing my job.”
- David Rundblad and Ryan Garbutt are both healthy scratches against the Avalanche.
- Marian Hossa did not participate in morning skate but is fine and will play.
- Corey Crawford will start against Colorado.