Who Is Jay McKee?

Stephanie LewarkCorrespondent IJuly 12, 2009

UNIONDALE, NY - OCTOBER 11: Jay McKee #77 of the St. Louis Blues skates against the New York Islanders on October 11, 2008 at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Jay McKee is a veteran defenseman and was Buffalo's first-round draft pick of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft (14th overall).

With his blocked-shots stats (a team high of 185 for the 2008-2009 season), it appears as though Pittsburgh acquired him to replace former Penguins veteran D-man Rob Scuderi even though the players are different as much as they are alike.

Since the Penguins have named Alex Goligoski as one of the defensemen to replace a key blueliner making up the powerhouse combination of Hall and Scuderi, it would then lead one to believe that McKee will be paired with Goligoski for the upcoming season. It still remains to be seen, though, as Shero has said this would be a decision left up to head coach Dan Bylsma.

The only foreseeable issue with McKee could be the possibility of his being an injury-prone player, although some may argue that the injuries come from his willingness and ability to block shots.

McKee missed two playoff runs with the Buffalo Sabres due to injuries. Coincidentally, he suffered the one injury after a collision with Mario Lemieux during Game Two of the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals.

In 2006, he had a severe infection in his leg from a cut that he received by blocking a shot. His first season with the St. Louis Blues was cut short due to various injuries including a knee injury, a broken finger, and two lower body injuries.

However, with the Blues paying the majority of McKee's salary due to buying out his final contract year with the Sabres and Pittsburgh only picking up $800,000 of it, it may turn out to be worth the risk. Let's hope so.