Blackhawks News

Rob Scuderi for Trevor Daley: Still a head-scratcher

By Mario Tirabassi
Dec 15, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Rob Scuderi (47) passes the puck during the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 15, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Rob Scuderi (47) passes the puck during the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Back on December 14, the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins made a trade to swap blue-liners Trevor Daley and Rob Scuderi. The Penguins ended up retaining one-third of Scuderi’s $3.375 million cap hit and saved the Blackhawks about $1 million in salary cap room. That’s about it.

Scuderi’s on-ice impact

Since the trade, Scuderi has appeared in nine games for Chicago with zero points, a minus-1 rating, eight shots on net, and is averaging about 11:28 of ice-time per game. Not mentioning, Scuderi has been a healthy scratch four times since joining the team in December.

Sure, Scuderi’s play wasn’t thought to be something that would jump off of the score sheet on a nightly basis. But it still needs to be an upgrade from Daley’s play if you are looking to be the team coming out on top of a deal. The million dollars saved in cap space is great if general manager Stan Bowman has a plan to make another move at the trade deadline in March. But until that day comes, Rob Scuderi on the ice for the Blackhawks is still causing a bald-spot on the top of my head.

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Youth vs. Experience

What really makes me wonder what the ultimate plan for Scuderi’s time is the fact that head coach Joel Quenneville continues to give prime opportunities on the Blackhawks blue-line to young, often recalled players. Guys like Erik Gustafsson and Viktor Svedberg have earned praise from Quenneville this season and Gustafsson has even seen himself earn time on the Power-play unit.

 So why make a move to get older and slower at the back-end of the ice by taking in 37-year old Scuderi and shipping out 32-year old Daley? Especially when Scuderi has played the majority of his total time on-ice with Chicago alongside fellow 37 year-old defender Michal Rozsival, 68:06 minutes in total, what are the fast-paced, skillful, and explosive Blackhawks supposed to do?

Once again, if Bowman has a further plan for Scuderi when it comes to the trade deadline, that remains to be seen. For the one month mark of the trade, I would have to give it a pretty sizable shrug of the shoulders on the part of the Blackhawks. Scuderi honestly hasn’t done anything really wrong in his nine games, but he hasn’t done much else.

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So what do you think when reflecting on the trade? Did Stan make the best decision?

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