Seidenberg ready to come back better than ever

Seidenberg ready to come back better than ever
May 21, 2014, 6:00 pm
(USA Today Sports)

BOSTON – Dennis Seidenberg has a message for the rest of the NHL when the Bruins hit the ice next September. Expect the solid German defenseman to be even better than he was prior to his right knee surgery for a torn ACL/MCL, and that will be a huge addition to Boston’s crowded blueline next season.

Seidenberg was within weeks, and probably days, of returning to the lineup when the Bruins lost Game 7 to the Montreal Canadiens in the second round of the playoffs last week, and clearly felt like he was just about ready to go. Seidenberg wouldn’t say if he could’ve been ready for Game 1 or Game 2 of the conference finals, but it’s pretty evident he could have been an option later in the series if he’d been needed.

“I’ll be better. I’m confident I’ll be just as [good], hopefully better than before,” he said when asked about his thoughts for next season. “I mean I feel conditioning wise [the knee] is great. I’ve been doing lots of cardio over the last few months. Strength-wise it’s the same . . . pretty good. There’s still a little pain, but that’s just stuff you can deal with, and once you play you don’t think about it.”

The pain in Seidenberg’s right knee will certainly have lessened if not outright disappeared altogether when training camp begins for the Black and Gold next fall, and the 32-year-old should fall right back with his second pairing position. Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton looked good together as the Bruins top pairing, and a second pairing of Seidenberg and Boychuk would be a grizzled, tough combination. That would leave Torey Krug and Kevan Miller as the third pairing defenseman, and Adam McQuaid and Matt Bartkowski as the extras headed into next season.

“They’re all good and young in their own way. So I think we’re in a good position and we obviously missed a couple of veteran D [this past season],” said Peter Chiarelli. “You heard me during the year, we miss those D but it allows the young D to grow and to prosper, so I can’t suck and blow here. I don’t want to gloat. But they’re all good young D in their own way.”

Clearly it would appear at least one – and perhaps two – blueliners could be on the move this summer based on holding NHL-caliber defensemen once everybody is back to full health. Seidenberg won’t be one of the guys on the move given his proven defensive warrior status in the postseason, and there’s little doubt the Bruins missed him once he went down in late December after 34 games played.

He’ll be back in full force next year showing off the power of German engineering fresh off a year focused on rehab rather than the normal physical pounding that the rugged defenseman takes during a full campaign.