With the title alone, I put myself in the minority. Sometimes I enjoy doing it to bother other too adamantly voiced Pens fans and then there are times, like this, where I truly believe my statements.
Rob Scuderi is the subject of many verbally pitchfork led talks about who to run out of town. "He gets paid too much!" "He's too slow!" or the simply put, "He sucks!"
I disagree with the latter and can see the points in the other two, but you know what Scuderi has that most on the roster does not? A Stanley Cup ring. And do you know what he has over everyone else except Chris Kunitz? Two Stanley Cup rings.
He brings a winning pedigree. Hell, six years ago, he was Pittsburgh's favorite player as he was "The Piece" to their 2009 Cup win with his outstanding saves in Game 6. When he left the city, fans were furious. When he resigned a couple seasons ago, everyone was thrilled.
Now, he's the one fingers are pointed at. Last time I checked, there were 19 other players that dressed that held responsibility for the team's success or failure, not just number four.
When you think about the Penguins defensively this season, who is going to stand out on the penalty kill? Kris Letang is surely a top-notch defenseman, but will he see a ton of time short-handed? I'd venture to say no. Olli Maatta, once healthy, will be a bright spot on those units. Ian Cole and Ben Lovejoy can be a risk at times. And are we as a fan base going to truly put our full belief in Derrick Pouliot right away? I doubt it.
The loss of Paul Martin stings...bad. Especially in terms of penalty kill, but do you know who is a "master" of the 5-on-3 penalty kill and kills in general?
Mr. Robert Scuderi is, that's who.
And it's not like Jim Rutherford and the Penguins haven't parted with "dead weight" this offseason. Craig Adams was told his services would no longer be needed, Nick Spaling is in Toronto as part of the Phil Kessel trade, and Brandon Sutter was recently traded away.
If the Penguins have been listening to the fan base, then they've done a good job of finding ways to eliminate bad contracts/players, in some people's views.
I'm not the one running the Rob Scuderi fan club, but I'm sure not part of the majority that wants him gone. I believe that he has a role on this team and will play a responsible role this season. He will mentor the young defenseman and contribute on the third pairing.
What he did for Simon Despres last season was invaluable and raised Despres' stock tremendously. He was a calming factor for the unbridled stallion and helped Despres tighten up his game. Scuderi deserves some credit for that at least.
Would trading him to free up cap make sense? Yes. But is it absolutely necessary to move Scuderi? I don't think so at all.
So, #KeepScuderi. He's kept for now. Hopefully it remains that way.