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What Makes Jan Rutta So Valuable? (+)

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Credit: AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Everybody knows that Jan Rutta is a two-time Stanley Cup champion.

But why was he so integral to the success of the Tampa Bay Lightning?

Granted, Rutta was a bottom-pairing defenseman for those teams. But there is a distinction between a playoff-caliber bottom-pairing defenseman as opposed to one less reliable. Rutta averaged about 16 minutes a night and also killed penalties in the 2021 and 2022 playoffs, suiting up for 40 playoff games over back-to-back deep Lightning runs.

Those minutes matter a lot.

There’s a reason why the Pittsburgh Penguins signed the Czech rearguard to an arguably above-market three-year, $8.25 million contract last off-season. And why he should fit in just right with the San Jose Sharks, who acquired him in the Erik Karlsson trade earlier this month.

SPORTLOGiQ’s micro-stats give us some insight into what makes Rutta so valuable.

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