Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi became a household name during the Penguins Stanley Cup run.
The longer the Penguins played, the higher Scuderi’s market value went up.
This past season Scuderi brought home a salary of $725,000.
At age 30, Scuderi has the opportunity to test the free agent market for the first time in his career as a known name and Scuderi will cash in.
Scuderi, the Penguins top defensive defenseman was an instrumental part of the Penguins success this season and under most situations would be a top priority for the Penguins.
With $46.85 million committed to 14 players for the upcoming season, Pittsburgh has $11.585 million combined to four defensemen, not including slight raises for Alex Goligoski and Ben Lovejoy who will be strong candidates to make the team.
Industry sources indicate Scuderi’s market value is currently at
$3 million per season with some NHL insiders at the Cup Finals speculating he could net $3.5 million on the open market with the deal Jeff Finger got from the Toronto Maple Leafs last season as a bench mark.
Ray Shero has been very reluctant to offer three years or more to players that Shero doesn’t tab as core players.
Pascal Dupuis was the rare case which is still mindboggling but nonetheless, it is going to take a significant discount from Scuderi’s end for the numbers to work.
It is all quiet on the Rob Scuderi front right now but Pittsburgh will approach his camp by the end of the week and go from there.
I’m hearing an offer of $2 million per season will be the max, that may be stretching it from Pittsburgh’s stand point.
The Penguins offer will not even come close to what Scuderi will receive on the open market and the ball will be in Scuderi’s court.
As much as Scuderi would like to return, he owes it to himself to test the open market.
Scuderi will have the opportunity of playing in his home-town and joining the New York Islanders.
The Islanders are prepared to make an offer of $3-$3.25 million over 4 to 5 years.
The Islanders have targeted Scuderi as a top priority as the teams looks for a veteran leader to lead them through their rebuilding process.
The Capitals, Wild, Lightning are also among 5 to 6 teams that have Scuderi on their radar.
While it’s a little off-based to speculate that Scuderi won’t be back since the two sides have not spoken yet, like a commenter in an earlier post said, it will be “cap suicide” for the Penguins to commit more than $2 million per season to Scuderi.
Sergei Gonchar is going to be locked up for a few more seasons around the same salary and Pittsburgh has to take in account for the raise Kris Letang will get after next season.
His salary will be over $2 million per season.
The numbers just don’t work and signing Scuderi to a long-term deal near market value will hinder the Penguins ability to get quality wingers for Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
It’s plain and simple, if Scuderi wants to return, he will have to give the Penguins a home-town discount of about $1.3-$1.5 million of what he will get on the open market.
For a player whose never made over $750,000 per season, the chances are very slim.
The Rob Scuderi watch begins later this week when the two sides begin negotiations.
Right now I would put the odds of Rob Scuderi signing with Pittsburgh before July 1 at 5%