May 03, 2016

Rod Schutt

Please do not confuse Rod Schutt with Hall of Famer Steve Shutt. Baz Bastien, Pittsburgh Penguins general manager from 1977-1983, made that mistake.

The story, be it fact or fiction, is confirmed by hockey commentator former Penguin goalie Greg Millen. Millen tells the story head shaking story.

"I was there when he (Bastien) made a trade with Montreal for a minor league player named Rod Schutt. Baz thought he had traded for Steve Shutt, who was an All Star. When Rod Schutt arrived Baz came into the room and announced how great it was to have Steve Shutt on the Pittsburgh Penguins. They didn't even spell their names the same, and for sure they didn't play hockey the same! Rod never did make it in a serious way."

The Penguins gave up a 1st round draft pick for Schutt, who himself was a 1st round pick in 1976. He was a highly thought of prospect, scoring 72 goals and 135 points over 63 games. Schutt had trouble breaking into the Habs lineup as they were in the midst of their dynamic 4 Cups in a row run in the late 1970s. Schutt had played well at the minor league level, twice scoring 30 goals. He only played in 2 games for the Habs.

Schutt did make and play for the Pens immediately following the trade. And you can bet he got some good ice time as the Pens wanted to give him every chance to succeed in the wake of their gaff. He did alright, but wasn't anything too great. He scored 24 goals in his first year, 18 in his next and a career high 25 in 1980-81, his third year in the NHL.

That third year proved to be Schutt's last full NHL season. He slumped terribly in 1981-82 and split the season with the Pens farm team. Over the next 3 years he would only play in 16 NHL games.

Schutt did get a chance at redemption in 1985 when the Toronto Maples Leafs signed him to a one year deal. He did appear in 6 games with the Leafs, but spent most of the year in the AHL.

Schutt retired following the 1985-86 season when no NHL team would offer him a decent contract. He retired with 77 goals and 92 assists for 169 points in 286 games.

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