During the third period of Monday’s game against the Washington Capitals, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced that they have acquired defenseman Trevor Daley from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Rob Scuderi, who was a scratch on Monday after taking warm-ups with the team.
The move comes during a period of tumultuous changes for the Penguins, who had their first game with new head coach Mike Sullivan on Monday.
Monday’s game also featured a tribute to forward Pascal Dupuis, who announced last week that he will no longer be able to play hockey due to a medical condition related to the blood clot issues he’s has experienced over the last year.
Daley’s cap hit of $3.3 million just about fits into the hole left behind by Dupuis’s cap hit, which can be moved to long-term injured reserve, since Dupuis is not retiring. Though the Penguins will also be retaining one-third of Scuderi’s salary, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
Scuderi makes $3.375 million against the cap over the next two seasons, with his actual salary coming in at $5.5 million over those two seasons.
With the retained salary, Chicago will wind up with about $1 million in cap relief. That makes the move make a little sense for Chicago, who has around $1.15 million in cap space available.
It’s an interesting trade since Scuderi hasn’t been used a whole lot in Pittsburgh, despite their troubles on the blue line. But with Daley largely being used on Chicago’s third pairing — not where he was expected to slot in — Scuderi may be better suited to the role, particularly with the cap savings they’ll receive.
Daley was acquired over the summer by the Blackhawks, but hasn’t had the kind of impact they were hoping for. There was a hope that he might replace Johnny Oduya and be a puck-mover that they could rely on. He hasn’t been able to fill that role, but may be able to take on a more tailored role in Pittsburgh’s thinner blue line.
(As an aside: That trade is now basically Patrick Sharp and Stephen Johns for Rob Scuderi and Ryan Garbutt, who has one goal and four points through 26 games.)
This is the first trade of the 2015-16 season that involves players who have played NHL games since October.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.