Rob Scuderi is a Penguin, again.
Scuderi has agreed to a four-year contract worth $13.5 million with the Penguins, whom he left in June 2009 as a free agent. Read the story here: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/4297898-74/scuderi-penguins-defenseman#axzz2YC3m9mSl
The free-agent market opened at noon Friday, and Scuderi agreed to a deal with the Penguins within that hour.
Scuderi, 34, received a limited-movement clause from the Penguins.
His interview with the Tribune-Review shortly after signing with the Penguins:
Q: When did you think about returning to the Penguins?
A: I didn’t think Pittsburgh was a possibility until my agent called on Wednesday morning. I didn’t know if (the Penguins would) be in the mix, but as soon as they were, I was intrigued.
Q: Did is strike you as coincidental that your former team was interested four years after you left?
A: I was incredibly fortunate the Penguins were interested. I fielded calls from other teams. I said I’d give myself one day to consider other possibilities because I thought Los Angeles had a very fair offer on the table, but to play with a championship caliber team and be closer to home – at my age that was the right decision for me and my family.
Q: Did Penguins GM Ray Shero say he wanted you to be to Kris Letang what you were to Drew Doughty with the Kings?
A: That was one of things I asked Ray when the called me. I wanted to make sure they remembered who I was, how I played, and if they expected anything else. The most important thing to me was the fit – and he said he knew exactly what I was, and they planned to use me the same way.
Q: This deal is for four years. Do you anticipate being a mentor to some of the club’s young defensemen?
A: I think I’ve been doing that for the last four years in Los Angeles. As a young defenseman in Pittsburgh, I watched guys like Sergei Gonchar and learned how to be a professional. If a younger defenseman can pick that stuff up, that’s great.
Q: The Penguins seem to be going for it again? You have won the Cup twice. How important was getting another crack?
A: That was one of the most important things. I wanted to have a chance to win the Cup again. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of two Cup teams. I still view (the Penguins) as being in a win-now mode. Pittsburgh is in that mode. I feel I can contribute at a high level.
Q: How are you different as a player now from when you last played in Pittsburgh?
A: I guess I’d say I’ve matured a little more. I haven’t changed my style much. I certainly can do a little more because I played a different side of the ice – left – with Los Angeles. I played in Pittsburgh on the right. But I feel comfortable on both sides.
— As told to Rob Rossi