Former Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi took the Toyota Sports Center ice with the Pittsburgh Penguins shortly after 2:00 Wednesday afternoon, and as one reporter noticed, was the subject of attention when Sidney Crosby pointed up towards a wall-hung banner depicting the Kings huddled around the Stanley Cup in the midst of their June 11, 2012 celebration.

“I think they were asking me why I wasn’t a little closer to the Cup,” Scuderi joked. “I’m more of a back row guy. So, I was kind of tucked away in the back. I was still in there.”

When the four-year, 13.6 million dollar contract he had signed with Los Angeles in the summer of 2009 expired, Scuderi agreed upon a four-year, 13.5 million dollar contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins on July 5.

Having won a Stanley Cup with the Kings amidst a collection of 50 playoff games, Scuderi was a member of a Los Angeles team that enjoyed its greatest success while he was an integral part of its blue line. Though his statistics depict very little of his overall impact, Scuderi appeared in 285 regular season games with the Kings, totaling four goals and 47 points.

“This was home for four years. I feel very comfortable here. I know I’m part of a different team, but it’s still a comfortable feeling and a place I spent a lot of time.”

Citing his family’s needs as the reason he returned to Pittsburgh – Scuderi is a native of Syosset, New York – the defenseman who now wears number four discussed the impact distance had on his decision to return to Pittsburgh.

“My family came out for a couple games right at the start of the season. They came out for Christmas, and certainly with the schedule we play, we play a heavy east coast schedule, so they’re much closer, and they can catch a lot of games, whether it be the Islanders, Rangers, Devils, Flyers, I mean you name it, they’re not too far,” Scuderi said. “Like I said, being honest, when I gave my interviews when I made my decision, I was torn to leave here. When I first came out, it feels a little bit awkward, and then after four years, it’s home. It’s tough to leave a place where everyone has treated you very well.”

On Los Angeles’ failure to re-sign him:
You know what? That didn’t really matter to me. All that mattered to me was that they tried, and that they genuinely had me in their thoughts for the future, and that’s all that mattered to be. Again, when I came down to it, it’s not that I didn’t enjoy the area or enjoy playing for this team, but Pittsburgh is closer than Los Angeles as far as…family, and where I’m at at my stage of my career, it leaned a little more heavily on me.

On whether it was strange walking back into Toyota Sports Center:
Yeah, I went to park in my normal spot, and someone was in it. It was kind of weird. Well, oit was tough to pull the bus in there, anyway. Like I said, it’s a place where I felt very comfortable over the last four years, so it’s a nice feeling comeing back. We had a great four years here. I did. A sStanley Cup championship, a conference finals, a very successful four years.

On Sidney Crosby referencing the Stanley Cup photo:
Yeah – like I said, I have nothing but good memories from here. It’s something I’ll always carry with those guys, and something we’ll always remember together.

On playing with Crosby again:
I think he’s just had some maturity as kind of seeing things for himself off the ice, and I think that will help him a lot as a player and as a person. He’s always been great at both, but I think it’s just something that you see with maturity. As a player, he’s also grown. It’s scary to think that he’s gotten better, but he has. The decisions he makes, in and out, on different areas on the ice, are better than when I played with last, which is a scary thing to think of.

Whether the return to Los Angeles has been on his mind:
It’s not like I think about it. I don’t come back with bitter feelings or feelings of regret or feelings that we didn’t accomplish something that we wanted to. So it’s more of good memories and good friends that I’ve had here. I’m on a different team now, but the memories you get to take with you.

On the feeling of opposing former defensive partners Drew Doughty and Slava Voynov:
It should be fun. You kind of see those guys before warmups and maybe you have a little smile or a little inside joke or something. But besides that, once the game starts, you see the games in the colors of the jerseys, and certainly I’ll be playing for mine.

On Drew Doughty’s reference that he knows his weakness:
Probably ice cream, I guess. That’s probably my weakness.

On his return from a fractured ankle:
It’s been good. Certainly I think it’s the longest amount of time I missed, and there’s a bit that needs to get back – your timing and things of that nature. But after four or five games you start to feel pretty good and you feel like more of yourself. Since then I think I’ve gotten back to my normal game.

On whether he returned to his former house in Pittsburgh:
No, we had sold a house there, so we went back and found something different. Like I said, it’s a great area, a lot of great suburbs. Besides the weather difference right now, they’re both great places to live.

On how old his kids are:
My kids are eight, six and two. They’re a little older, but we had a great set-up here [too]. It was not an easy decision.

145497324CP028_2012_NHL_Sta

145497324MW085_2012_NHL_Sta

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

VIEW ALEC MARTINEZ POSTS
Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

VIEW ANZE KOPITAR POSTS
Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

VIEW DREW DOUGHTY POSTS
Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
VIEW TYLER TOFFOLI POSTS

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

VIEW JEFF CARTER POSTS
Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

VIEW JONATHAN QUICK POSTS