I’m not sure I’ve seen a trade in the NHL where both teams don’t benefit in the least for a long time, but we finally got one tonight. The Hawks traded Trevor “Spitoon” Daley for Rob Scuderi, who died in 2012 but no one told him. The Pens, somehow making this worse, kept a third of Scuderi’s salary, so the Hawks do get some additional space on the cap. And that may be the end goal here.
In fact, it had better be, and maybe we can’t fully judge this deal until we see what Stan Bowman does with that cap space. Because if he thinks Scuderi can help this team in anyway, then someone should probably check for a gas leak in the Hawks front offices.
Scuderi was arguably the worst d-man on a Penguins team that currently has Ian Cole and Ben Lovejoy on the roster. I mean I don’t know how else to stress this. The last time Scuderi carried possession above the team-rate was… oh wait, it’s never actually happened. The past three years, one in L.A. and the last two in Pittsburgh, he’s done that with favorable zone starts and competition. This guy can’t move, and he’ll joing a third pairing where the other guy can’t move, and the one guy on the second pairing can’t really move either. He’ll block a lot of shots though, because he’ll never have the puck. And Scuderi looked to be aging quickly in the Eastern Conference, so he might simply melt coming back to the West two seasons after the Kings decided he couldn’t hack it anymore out here.And the highlight is that he still has one year remaining after this one. The Hawks only hope is that he retires after this season (some would argue he retired two years ago but can’t figure out where else to go but the rink). Otherwise they’ll have yet another albatross aging d-man to replace Rozsival, assuming they don’t just re-sign Rozsival which we know they will if he’s even coming close to showing a pulse.
Looking back on Trevor Daley I still laugh out loud when anyone suggested back in July when he was acquired that he could earn Q’s trust or be anything other than a third pairing bum-slayer. All the people yelling on Twitter that Daley could fill in for Oduya clearly had never seen Daley play and basically jupmed to that conclustion out of mere hope and the knowlege of only that they were both black. And the thing is given more time he might, might have become that. But the Hawks have too many other problems on the blue line to wait. Daley was nothing short of a defensive disaster in Dallas last year and it wasn’t going to get any better skating with Michal Rozsival. And he’s far too expensive to be a third-pairing bum-slayer. Good thing the Penguins will have to play him higher, which is going to be something special to watch. Sidney Crosby demanding a trade in 3…2…1…
It leaves the Hawks with exactly one d-man who can skate. Just in case you think Duncan Keith didn’t have enough to carry. The Hawks’ main problem this season has been transitioning from their own end and dealing with teams with speed, and Scuderi is going to help exactly jack and shit with that. The Hawks will continue to swim up stream against any team with depth and speed.
Again, this trade can’t be really evaluated until we see what the Hawks do with the added cap space. If it helps them land a genuine second pairing d-man and they can just play TVR and Rozsival/Scuderi on the third pairing, it’ll be a win in the long run. In the meantime, they’re probably going to try and force feed Scuderi into the lineup, and especially on the road where he can’t be hidden that’s going to be hilarious for all to watch.
It does not help Stan’s rep for evaluating d-men. Since acquiring Johnny Oduya, his unquestioned success, he gave Rozsival a two-year extension, kept Michael Kostka on the roster for nearly a full season, has yet to draft a d-man that’s played a significant part on any roster, gave up a 2nd-rounder for David Rundblad who his coach hates (and with good cause), gave up two 2nd rounders for the charred ashes of Kimmo Timonen, brought in Trevor Daley before his coach made him launch him under threat of getting a cigar in the eye, has forced TVR into the lineup when he could probably use more time in Rockford but had no other choice. Oh, and he gave Rozsival another contract coming off an ankle that went the wrong way. So even though Stan probably knows he has to go out and get a 2nd pairing d-man, every Hawk fan should be a little jittery about him being the one who has to do it.