Name: Dennis Seidenberg
Regular season, EV: 78.78% w/Zdeno Chara; 8.28% w/Matt Hunwick
Regular season, PP: 46.72% w/Dennis Wideman; 22.13% w/Chara
Regular season, PK: 63.12% w/Chara; 18.44% w/Wideman
The Good: At the Mar. 3 trade deadline, the Bruins’ brass weren’t too active; especially by not addressing their needs with help putting the puck in the net. But after making some non-impact moves — college/minor leaguers — Boston shipped blue-liner Derek Morris back to Phoenix for a conditional draft pick, and acquired Seidenberg from Greg’s Used Car Lot: aka the Florida Panthers. Seidenberg’s dynamic presence was immediately felt from day one in Boston — leading the team with over 25 minutes of ice time against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
After setting aside my admiration of No. 53, I soon realized that the swapping of defensemen was certainly a slight upgrade for Boston’s back-end. The Bruins got a hulking D-man that logged a ton of minutes — even strength, power play, and penalty kill — blocked a plethora of shots; could move the puck better than any blue-liner on the team; and had great vision, puck handling, and puck movement out of his own end and through the neutral zone.
The Germany, native, posted 2-7-9 totals, with a plus-9 rating and 37 SOG in his shortened 17 games in Boston. Often the best defenseman to show up donning the Black-and-Gold uniform, the 28-year-old was a beast on the power play, penalty kill, and lead the NHL in with 215 blocked shots.
The Bad: No shots on goal, no points, and finished with a minus-1 in his last three games before his season-ending injury. The wrist/forearm gash was a freakish injury and just plain ‘ol bad luck. The original prognosis in Toronto made it out to be nothing more than a fairly minor stitch job. But the deadline acquisition unfortunately missed the remainder of the season and all of the playoffs after undergoing successful surgery to repair a “lacerated flexor carpi radialis tendon” in his left forearm.
What could have been if the 6’1″ blue-line beast was healthy for the remainder of the season and the playoffs…perhaps a different outcome. Boston certainly could have used No. 44 against Philadelphia’s top-lines, as well as his offensive capabilities.
It was reported that contract talks had begun between Seidenberg and Boston’s front office shortly after the Bruins’ departure from the playoffs. However, I’m not so sure we’ll see the same No. 44 back in black next season. Boston has very little wiggle room in their salary cap spendings, and still have a number of other free-agents — Boychuk, Stuart — that may get inked before Seidenberg between now and Jul. 1. That is unless Seidenberg cares to take a discount on his previous $2.5 million salary of last year to stay here.
If it were up to me: signing Boychuk would be number 1, and Seidenberg 1a.
Next report card: No. 45 Mark Stuart
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