BOSTON -- Dennis Seidenberg has been a warrior for the Boston Bruins over the last four years, and it would seem that Peter Chiarelli wants to reward him for that. The Bruins general manager revealed that he’s had discussions with Seidenberg’s agent, J.P. Barry, and that extending the German defenseman is a “high” priority for the B’s entering his final contracted year of service with the team.
“It’s a pretty high [priority],” said Chiarelli. “We’ve had some discussions, and we’ll figure something out there.”
The discussions must have happened during the preseason as Seidenberg indicated at the beginning of camp that the two sides hadn’t yet spoken.
It’s a bit of a tough call for the Bruins given that Seidenberg will be 33 years old next season and has absorbed his share of heavy-duty usage over the last four years. It was clear Seidenberg was both injured and out of gas at end of last year’s Stanley Cup run and became a liability in the Cup Final against Chicago.
But Seidenberg is also a rock-solid defenseman in his own zone, capable of making the first pass out of the zone, and he's a tremendously consistent player that normally raises his game during the playoffs.
Best of all, he wants badly to remain a member of the Bruins based on comments he made at the beginning of training camp:
“You definitely think about [the contract stuff], but the bottom line is that you don’t let it affect your performance. Some guys are franchise players, and I’m trying to get there still,” said a laughing Seidenberg, who had four goals and 17 points along with a plus-18 in 46 games last season. “You try to put it in the back of your mind, use it as fuel and just play the best that you can.
“If the two sides start talking I don’t really want to be a big part of it. I want to hear little bits of it, but I don’t want to be heavily involved [in negotiations]. It could be a distraction, and I just want to focus on this season and how I’m going to play.”
All that being said it’s hard to see the Bruins agreeing to much beyond a three-year deal in the $12 million range for Seidenberg given all of the factors, and given the wealth of young defensemen that are coming up through Boston’s pipeline.
Torey Krug, Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski all made the NHL roster to start the season, and Boston has Zach Trotman and Kevan Miller also coming through the pipeline pushing for NHL jobs.
In the salary cap era, that is normally the situation where teams wave goodbye to veterans looking for a raise in salary while ushering in the younger, cheaper players. But it doesn’t seem to be the case in Seidenberg’s situation, and that’s a good thing for the Black and Gold.