Throughout the offseason, Bruins Daily will be posting daily report cards on each individual members of the 2011-12 NHL season Boston Bruins.
In order of jersey number, each player will be highlighted. In today’s edition, we have No. 44, defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.
Name: Dennis Seidenberg
Weight: 210 lbs.
Contract: UFA in 2014-15
Cap hit: $3.25M per season
2011-12 NHL season stats:
Regular season: 80 GP, 5-18-23, plus-15, 39 PIM, 174 SOG
Post season: 7 GP, 1-2-3, plus-1, 2 PIM, 17 SOG
If you are looking for one of the best underrated defenseman in the National Hockey League, look no further than Dennis Seidenberg. “Seids” finished the 2011-12 season with five goals and 18 assists while compiling a plus-15 while on the ice. His physicality and smart play may go unnoticed because of the other big defenseman the Bruins throw out there by a name of Zdeno Chara, but Seids has been nothing but exceptional for the black and gold.
He appeared in 80 games after appearing in 81 games during the grueling Stanley Cup run. If Peter Chiarelli is awarded for one trade, fans need to look back at this one. Chiarelli dealt Byron Bitz, Craig Weller and Tampa Bay’s 2010 Second Round Draft Pick for Matt Bartkowski and Seidenberg.
Seidenberg was second on the team in ice time at 24:02 behind no one other than Chara. Seids was one of the unsung heroes in the 2011 Stanley Cup run and he was nothing short of great again in 2012.
Final Grade: A
Mark’s grade: When you look back at the past two seasons, there are just a handful of players who seem to have given it their all in the playoffs — Seidenberg may be on the top of that list. Lined-up with Chara, the tandem had continued to be a two-headed monster and arguably the top shut-down defensive pair in the entire NHL. No. 44 took a beating against Alexander Ovechkin in the post season and never missed a beat; he was nothing short of sensational.
One glaring hole this team had a few seasons back was when Seidenberg missed the entire post season with a torn tendon in his forearm, but he quickly bounced back and proved to be one of the team’s front-runners for the team’s MVP candidates in the post season, and arguably one of the team’s top-5 most untouchable players. To even contemplate putting this guy in a package for Rick Nash would be absurd.
Final grade: A
Tim’s turn: As Chris alluded to, Dennis Seidenberg is perhaps one of the most — if not the most — underated blueliner in the National Hockey League. While pairing with the 6-9 Zdeno Chara has helped take his game to new levels, the German defenseman has also held his own when he wasn’t paired with Chara during the 2011-12 regular season and the results showed with his career high plus/minus rating of plus-15 in 80 contests. Seids and Chara reunited during the playoffs and did a nice job of shutting down the Caps top lines, much like they did to the opposition during last year’s Cup run. While Chara and Seidenberg might split up next year assuming Douggie Hamilton makes it on the Bruins’ back end — where he would benefit from playing with either d-man — Seidenberg’s consistency should easily carry over into the 2012-13 season.
GM Peter Chiarelli has made some shrewd transactions over the years, but after acquiring Seids from Florida two years ago for Byron Bitz and Craig Weller, this trade in particular continues to pay dividends.