Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Rob Scuderi cleared waivers Wednesday, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman. He has since been reassigned to Rockford, clearing a roster spot and freeing up some additional cap space in the process.
All 29 NHL teams passed on the opportunity to claim the 37-year-old's contract after he was placed on waivers by Chicago on Tuesday. The news isn't surprising given that Scuderi still holds a $2.25 million cap hit through next season even with Pittsburgh retaining over $1 million annually. That's not a terribly large commitment, but it's far too much money for a shot-blocking vestige of an old era who's nearing the end of his decline phase. Scuderi, for all intents and purposes, isn't much of an NHL player nowadays.
The Hawks acquired Scuderi in December from the Penguins in exchange for Trevor Daley. The move helped the Hawks clear some cap space, but it didn't take long to see that was all they got.
Scuderi has appeared in 17 games with Chicago and failed to record a single point. His possession numbers are also downright disastrous. Despite seeing nearly 60 percent of his zone starts in the offensive end with the Hawks, his Corsi relative is a brutal minus-12.6 percent. The defenseman has never recorded a positive Corsi relative in the eight-plus seasons those statistics have been tracked, so it goes without saying that Scuderi was never really a strong fit for the Hawks' possession-based system.
Clearing part of Scuderi's salary was an expected move given that GM Stan Bowman is likely opening as much space as possible before trying to complete a major trade deadline deal. The real shame is that Scuderi is also under contract for next season -- between him and Bryan Bickell, there will be a lot of dead weight to shuffle around this offseason.