For a defense that’s young, vulnerable, and looking for a steady, stay-at-home mentor, Rob Scuderi is the man for the job.
Does he score a lot of points? No. Is he the youngest blue-liner at 34 years old? No. Will he already have been re-signed or scooped up by another team by the time you read this column? Maybe. Can the Lightning afford him coming off a 4-year $13.6 million contract with the Los Angeles Kings? That all depends on what “Scuds” (or as his Penguin teammates called him, “The Piece”) is looking for, and what Tampa Bay is willing to pay. Finally, can Yzerman sign him and still have enough money for a gritty forward with an attitude?
Here’s what I know. When Pittsburgh limped out of the playoffs this year, one of the questions that some players wondered in the locker room was, “Where was Rob Scuderi when we needed him?”
For a defense that ranked 26th in the league last year and having a young, up-and-coming corps of hopeful defensive prospects, Rob Scuderi would bring experience and stability to the Lightning blue line. And with two Stanley Cups under his belt, he has a wealth of playoff experience. What’s that worth? We’ll find out soon.
In the meantime, Mr. Yzerman, how about at least having a conversation with the Scuderi camp if you haven’t already made the call? What would most likely be Rob Scuderi’s last contract in the NHL is exactly the transition piece the Tampa Bay Lightning needs to coach their young D-men to the Stanley Cup playoffs.