Pens Sign Jay McKee To One-Year, $37.99 Deal

The Penguins rounded out their defensive corps by signing bought-out blueliner Jay McKee from the St. Louis blues to a one-year deal reportedly worth less than $1 million.

McKee’s time with the Blues was highly dubious, in no small part because he was on an absurd 4 year, $16 million contract that he somehow kept a straight face and signed before breaking down into laughter in front of the Blues’ front office brass, which resulted in a ruptured funnybone, his first of many injuries in St. Louis.

Still, McKee is exactly what the Pens need — a stay-at home defenseman with a decent physical streak who can eat up Rob Scuderi’s vacated minutes — and the fact that his contract is so reasonable only enhances the shrewdness of the signing. McKee is making a free $2.7 mil from the Blues this year from the buyout, but still, if Scuderi’s worth $3.5 million in this market, McKee could’ve easily gotten a bigger free agent deal from another team; McKee and his agent must be extremely confident that one successful season on the high-profile Pens to set up a deal next offseason will be a smarter long-term strategy than signing for $2 million this season with, say, Atlanta.

What’s even more ridiculous about this deal is that up until probably May of this season, if any team in the NHL were offered the chance to get Jay McKee or Rob Scuderi for the same amount of money, surely everyone would’ve taken McKee. Yes, we can’t just ignore Scuderi’s ’09 playoffs or McKee’s recent injury history, but factoring in the respective financial commitments to the two players — 4 years, $13.6 mil versus 1 year, less-than $1 mil — I’ll happily take on the McKee contact every time.

Now we get to answer a hypothetical question about the universe: can the words “Jay McKee” and “underpaid” actually appear in the same sentence? At least, without being followed by “LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL”?


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