It’s tough to make judgments based on a phone call, but it seems safe to say the Kings got a great character guy today in Rob Scuderi. Often it’s the little things that say a lot about in person. In Scuderi’s case, he made two attempts to reconnect after his cell phone cut out, and apologized profusely for interrupting the conversation. It’s already clear that Scuderi will be a “go-to guy” for reporters seeking quotes.
Question: Did you think the Kings were an option from the start, or is this something that just developed over the last couple days?
SCUDERI: “They showed some interest on the first day, but they didn’t really make an offer, so my agent and I didn’t really know what would happen. I was interested in the Kings, because obviously there’s a lot of young talent there. Today they made an offer and we got it done.”
Question: You mentioned the young talent. How much do you know about this Kings team?
SCUDERI: “When you play in the East, you don’t look a whole lot at the West. I think we played them once or twice during my time with the Penguins, but when I talked to Lombardi and Hextall, they told me to take a long look at the roster. It’s not hard to see the good mix of talented guys and the young talent they have coming up. It’s hard to miss guys like Doughty and Johnson, and it looks like there’s a whole lot of potential on this team.”
Question: In talking to Lombardi, he seemed to be looking for a guy with some experience and leadership. Did he talk to you about what he expects, on and off the ice?
SCUDERI: “One of the positives, one of the things that made my decision easier, is that they don’t expect me to do anything different than I did for the last four years in Pittsburgh. A lot of guys, when they sign a free-agent contract, they feel like they have to do more and they feel obligated to live up to it, and it ends up hurting them because they try to do too much. They know what they can expect from me, both on and off the ice. I’m a family man, and I’m not the type of man who’s going to be out burning the candle at both ends. I hope I can bring some leadership to the team.”
Question: Fans saw a lot of you in the playoffs, obviously, but maybe not a lot in general. What should people know about your game?
SCUDERI: “I’d say I’m an extremely under-the-radar type of player. If you haven’t noticed me during a game, I probably had a good one. You can expect me to make the simple plays when they need to be made and not take chances that lead to bad mistakes.”
Question: During your time in Pittsburgh, the Penguins went from being a pretty bad team to being champions. What types of things do these young Kings need to know about winning?
SCUDERI: “It’s all about the attitude and work ethic that you bring to the rink every day. We tried to create a winning culture in Pittsburgh, and I’ve seen how fast things can turn around for a team. I’m hoping I can be one of the players who helps create that type of culture here. This is a talented team, with all the defensemen and with guys like Kopitar and Brown and Frolov. They’re not that far away. They were in it until the final month of the season, and I really think they’re not that far away.”