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Scuderi: ‘I wanted to make sure (Pens) remembered who I was.’ #TribHKY Q&A with The Piece.

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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

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Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

 
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