Blackhawks defenseman Rob Scuderi returns to Consol Energy Center tonight for the first time since being traded by the Penguins in exchange for defenseman Trevor Daley Dec. 14.
Since joining the Blackhawks, Scuderi has played in seven games and recorded no points while averaging 11:36 of ice time.
After his team's morning skate, Scuderi held court with reporters:
How do your assess your season with the Penguins prior to the trade?
“I thought it was good. I know maybe I was taking a little less minutes. Instead of up around 18 or 20 [minutes], I was in the 15 or 16 range trying to do a good job on the penalty kill against the third and fourth lines. Good role player just trying to do my part for the team and contribute. I thought I did well at it but sometimes these things happen."
The night you were traded, you were in warm-ups but ended up being scratched. Then the trade was announced during the game. What was that night like for you?
"It's always a little surprising even if you've been around a while and there's not much that surprises you in the game any more. When it happens to be you, it's always a little different. Certainly a crazy night. Your thoughts go more to your family. You know as a player, you'll be fine. You're doing the same thing, just for a different group. There's certainly an adjustment period but that will come in time. But you think about the other things. Your family. What are they going to do? Arrangements of that nature. But once you give it some time, things start to slow down. You start to feel a bit better about where you are."
On playing for the Blackhawks:
"A ton of success. A lot of good players. A lot of good players. I'm still getting acclimated. It hasn't been all that long. We had a nice long Christmas break too. Just trying to get to know everybody and find your way in the system and get those details nailed down so you can become a contributor on your new team."
Is your role any different?
"Certainly, you have to adjust to the small things that they want to do as a team. But your overall game is not going to change. I'm not going to become something else overnight. I'm still doing roughly the same role. You just have to adjust to the small details that are different from team to team."
Did you have any sense the Penguins were trying to trade you?
"Maybe a small sense. I thought if they wanted to go in a different direction last summer, I thought maybe something would happen. When it didn't, there's really nothing you can do as a player. You're a hockey player. You focus on the things in your world that you can control and everything else is everything else."
Did general manager Jim Rutherford talk to you about the trade?
"No. That stuff doesn't really … I don't really think about it in that regard. If it happens, you kind of move on. I don't think a talk or anything like that is going to make it any easier. You just have to adjust yourself."
You were teamed with Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival during the Penguins' training camp in 2003.
"Played with [Rozisval]. I know he had some injury issues a long time ago. He would get sent down to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton [of the American Hockey League] and we'd play together for a couple of weeks. It's kind of funny how your careers go and you end up meeting back up again. It's been good to play with him again and see him again."
Do you reflect on what happened with the Penguins this season?
"I don't think about it. It's like we say, 'Don't think, you'll only hurt the team.' It's something where you just kind of go with it. I don't think about it. I'm not bitter about it or anything. It's just something that happens in the business and you learn to move on."
(Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)