Rob Scuderi “The Piece” Returns to Pittsburgh.
Shortly after the 2013 Free Agency period began it was announced that Rob Scuderi and the Pittsburgh Penguins agreed on a 4 year deal. What does this do to the Penguins, where does this leave the other Defenders?
Scuderi will make $3.75 a year for the next 4 years. It does include a limited No Movement Clause.
The Penguins now have 10 defenders who are very capable of playing in the NHL.
Letang – Scuderi
Orpik – Martin
Niskanen – Despres
Engellend - Bortuzzo (Maybe hasn’t accept new deal)
Dumoulin - Harrington
The Penguins Top 4 has quickly become one of the better Defensive cores in the league. Martin and Oprik found chemistry last season that is surely to continue and Scuderi and Letang should fit together nicely, but this is where things get tricky though.
Despres was slated to be a top four defender this coming season, with the acquisition of Scuderi it pushed Simon down to the fifth or sixth spot. Not only that, but the team will need to clear some cap room as they currently sit below $1 million. Niskanen seems like the most likely candidate to be moved, but anything could happen between now and Game 1 of the 2013-2014 season.
For all the positives in this signing there are just as many negatives. Scuderi is an excellent Defensive Defensman, but he is 34 and could be slowing down. He could be a great mentor to the young defenders in the system, but there are no spots for them to play to be mentored. So, was this signing good or bad?
If you are a believer in going with a youth movement than it isn’t a move you will appreciate, but If you feel that a calming veteran presence was needed on the blue line than a player like Scuderi is perfect.
The Free Agency period is still young, and how this signing pans out is anyone’s guess. I can assure you though, the Pittsburgh Defense has surely been upgraded from last season, now it is on the Coaches to utilize them properly and get a good game plan together.
Welcome Back Scuderi!
For Free Agent Hockey Talk follow me via Twitter @RSlavi_HTPens
- Robert Slavinsky