Written by The Burgh Blog writer: Austin Tocco
December 14, 2015 was the day the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Trevor Daley from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for veteran defenseman Rob Scuderi. The Canadian blue liner caught everyone by surprise in the Pittsburgh area with his innate ability to score from the blue line and to generate a quick and effective breakout. Daley spent his first 11 years in the league playing for the Dallas Stars organization, last year, Chicago signed him. I am not exactly sure what went wrong with Daley in Chicago, but I was extremely impressed that General Manager Jim Rutherford was able to pull this no brainer transaction. It clearly favored the Penguins, Scuderi was a washed up older defenseman who just could not perform to the standards of the Penguins. Daley was all of that and more. Chicago is probably scratching their heads now at this trade, they without a doubt would have benefited from having him in the playoffs. Following the arrival of Rob Scuderi to Chicago, he got traded again to Los Angeles. Trevor Daley has been a force for the Penguins ever since.
Trevor Daley brings a special type of energy to the Penguins lineup. He is a solid all around defenseman who stands out at the blue line. Over his short tenure as a Penguin, I have noticed how aggressive he is when his team is in the offensive zone, but he does it in a smart and careful manner. If he sees the other team can beat him to the puck, or generate an odd man rush in the other direction, he backs off and skates back to play solid defense. If he sees an opening, or sees that he can out skate a player to the puck, best believe he is going to get it. His vision and instinct is what separates him from most defensemen in this league. He is very protective of his goalie, but will take a chance to generate a play that quite often led to a goal this year. Trevor also has the ability to make a play even behind his own net. He can poke check the puck right out from underneath a defender and generate a quick rush up the ice. His communication skills is just another quality that Daley brings to the table. You can always hear him talking to the other defensive partner, or talking to Matt Murray. The communication that he brings to the rink allows for the best positioning possible for the other defensive partner and the offensive players coming into the defensive zone. I consider Daley the captain when he is on the ice, he makes sure everyone knows exactly what they are doing on a set face-off play or when they are on the penalty kill. Daley possesses a drive that allows him to stand out over most defensemen in the league, he is extremely underrated and provided much needed leadership during the Penguins quest for the cup this spring.
There is not much to complain about when it comes to Trevor Daley. Something I noticed is that he lets adversity on the ice during the game to get to him at times. He seems to really get down on himself if he is on the ice for a goal which in turn doesn’t produce the play we are used to seeing from him. Instead of facing adversity when it comes, he dwells on it which may also lead to a bad penalty, which happened a few times this year.
2016 Statistics + Playoffs
+/- : +10
Trevor Daley is set to make $2,700,000 with a cap hit of $3,300,000 for the Pittsburgh Penguins next year. Following the 2016-17 campaign, Daley will become an unrestricted free agent and has the ability to test the open market for other opportunities.
Overall Rating: A