Offseason Player Grades: Chad Ruhwedel

Statistics (Regular Season)

34 GP, 2 G, 8 A, 10 PTS, +9 +/-, 8 PIM

Statistics (Postseason)

6 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 PTS, -3 +/-, 4 PIM

Player Grade (B-)

Chad Ruhwedel was a guy who many would have presumed would not play a game in the NHL for the Penguins this year, but due to injuries and players such as Pouliot not working out how the Penguins would have hoped, Ruhwedel got some playing time, and even played 34 games.  After we was called up he actually earned his right to stay in the lineup until his play dictated otherwise.  He was a great temporary fill-in, but once Maatta and Daley healed up, that was about it for Ruhwedel.

Review

Ruhwedel notched 2 goals along with 8 assists, notching 10 total points in 34 regular season games.  He played in 6 playoff games, but had no points and was a -4 in those games.  Ruhwedel did, however, score a very important goal in the Penguins’ outdoor game against the Flyers, extending their lead to 4-2 in order to give the Penguins the win at Heinz Field.

Preview

Ruhwedel is a free agent going into the offseason.  I am sure the Penguins would love to bring him back as a 7th/8th defenseman, but that also assumes that another team is not willing to reach out to him and overpay him as maybe a 6th defenseman.  I do not think he is a priority for GMJR, but the Penguins will be slim on defense next season, unless Rutherford makes some moves.  Ruhwedel would be great to bring back as long as he is willing to take a cheap 2-way contract.

Conclusion

Ruhwedel ultimately did his job.  He probably was not expected to play much, but when he did, he was solid.  He skates well, moves the puck pretty well, and fits the Penguins’ system.  He is not a guy that should be in the lineup every night, but would be a great depth guy for the Penguins to keep around.

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