The Pittsburgh Penguins have traded veteran defenseman Rob Scuderi to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Trevor Daley, the club announced today. According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Penguins will retain 1/3 of Scuderi’s salary.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 15, 2015
The Penguins motive in this deal is kickstarting their defense. Daley’s seen an uptick in his possession numbers this season after regularly posting brutal rates, but playing with the Blackhawks will do that. The Hawks acquired him in the Patrick Sharp deal (a true stinker of a deal) after Daley scored 16 goals in 2014-15, but his offense has disappeared this season as he has zero goals and six assists in 29 games. He’s also seen his ice-time drop to a career-low 14:46 minutes per game, which is eight fewer minutes than last season’s average. The Penguins are likely hoping he’ll return to the offensive presence he was in Dallas, but he’s not the answer to their defensive struggles – although he’s better than Scuderi.
With the Penguins taking on 1/3 of Scuderi’s salary, the Blackhawks effectively save more than $1 million this season. Scuderi is owed $3.375 million this year and next, while Daley is owed $3.3 for this season and next. The move on Chicago’s end seems to be purely financial. Daley was a bust in Chicago, and this way they get a defensive defenseman who won’t be miscast in the bottom-six. Scuderi is also goalless this season in 25 games and has four assists.
The Penguins win this trade because they get the better player, but that’s not really saying all that much.