Bruins starting to make alternate plans if there is a lockout

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Bruins starting to make alternate plans if there is a lockout

LOWELL The Bruins players are hopeful that there will be an NHL season, and that the season will start on time with Opening Night scheduled for Oct. 11 on the road against the Philadelphia Flyers.
But theres a wide chasm between the NHL and the NHLPA with the current CBA set to expire on Sept. 15, and theres every expectation that at least a portion of the season will be missed due to labor issues. So some Bruins players are already making their preparations in case there is no NHL hockey for at least a few months to start next year, and much of that is centered on Europe.
Theres a good chance that a player like 20-year-old Tyler Seguin and 21-year-old Jordan Caron will be playing for the Providence Bruins given that theyre on entry level deals with only a certain number of games played under their belts. Mike Mottau said he already has a few concrete offers from Europe if thats the direction he wants to head toward for next year, and those offers will look more attractive if the NHL cant get its act together.
It would make plenty of sense for 25-year-old Tuukka Rask to head back to his native Finland if labor issues continue into October and November, but the goalie said he hadnt made any of those plans as of yet.
I didnt go through a work stoppage the last time around, so Im not even sure what I would do, said Rask. Hopefully well be playing hockey and I wont have to make that decision.
Dennis Seidenberg said he was also hoping to start the year on time with the Bruins, but already envisioned playing in Germany with his younger brother, Yanick, if theres a lengthy work stoppage. Both Seidenberg brothers have played for the Mannheim Eagles in the past, and the Bs defensemans younger brother will be playing there this season.
The elder Seidenberg said he actually looked forward to the opportunity to play with his 5-foot-7, 160-pound younger brother if the situation was right.
My younger brother plays in Germany, so it would be nice to play with him if the situation got to that, said Seidenberg, who is 2 years older than Yanick. For now I havent put enough thought into it to say what I would do. But he plays for Mannheim, the team I used to play for over there.
Id love to play with him, but Im hoping that it doesnt happen.
As things creep closer to the season odds are that youll hear much more about members of the Bruins roster scattering all over the world to earn some money while their main paychecks are being held up during a potential lockout.

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Hindsight is always 20/20, of course, but it appears the Bruins made a mistake buying out veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg from the final couple of years of his contract. 

Seidenberg just finished up a wildly successful stint with host Team Germany at the IIHF World Championships, where he was named Directorate Best Defenseman (the tournament’s best defenseman) after leading all D-men with a goal and eight points. This came after Seidenberg, at age 35, posted 5 goals and 22 points in 73 games for the Islanders, with whom he signed after being cut loose by the B's, while averaging a shade under 20 minutes per game.  Seidenberg also had an excellent World Cup of Hockey tournament for Team Europe last summer (where he was teamed once again with Zdeno Chara), thus managing to play at a high level from September all the way through May.

A faction of Bruins fans thought he was on the serious decline after the 2015-16 season and, clearly, the Bruins agreed, opting to buy him out with two more years still left on a sizable contract extension. (They owe him $2.16 million next season and then will be charged $1.16 million on their salary cap over the next two seasons.) But the B's could have used a durable, defensive warrior like Seidenberg in the playoffs, when they lost three of their top four defensemen against the Ottawa Senators. A rejuvenated Seidenberg, able to play both the left and right side, would have been a better option than Colin Miller.

The Bruins made a conscious decision to hand things over to younger defensemen like Miller, Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo and Joe Morrow in cutting ties with Seidenberg. But they also perhaps miscalculated how much Seidenberg still had left in the tank after his best season in at least three years. 

“Well, at the time we felt like [Seidenberg's] game had really dropped off to where we thought he couldn’t contribute, and we wanted to see if some younger players could come in and help us out,” Bruins president Cam Neely said at the end-of-the-season press conference earlier this month. “I’ve got to say he played well this year for Long Island. But at the time we thought it was the right move. You can’t envision us having three of our top four D’s get hurt [in the playoffs]. We went through a lot of D’s in the postseason. You can’t predict that.”

Neely is referring to the decision made after Seidenberg’s second straight minus season in Boston, when back injuries and a major knee injury had seemed to slow him down a bit. It seemed the only way to properly evaluate some of their other, younger defenseman was to cut Seidenberg loose, but one has to wonder if the Bruins would have possibly done it had they known he was still capable of playing like he did this season for the Islanders. 

Either way, the buyout of Seidenberg is an extremely legitimate second guess of Bruins management in a year where they did a lot of things right. 
 

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while feeling like we’ll be getting a Pittsburgh/Nashville Stanley Cup Final, which I suppose would be the best possible outcome at this point.

*You hear the name and it just gets you angry all over again if you grew up watching the Bruins. Ulf Samuelsson is in the running for an assistant coaching job with the Chicago Blackhawks, according to a report.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Chris Johnston says it appears that the time is running out on a Cinderella season for the Ottawa Senators.

*A taste of winning at the world championships with Team Sweden could fuel Alex Edler’s desire for a change from the rebuilding Vancouver Canucks.

*Interesting piece on a former can’t miss goaltending prospect with the Nashville Predators that ended up totally missing, and what he’s been up to in life since then.

*Guy Boucher explains to Pro Hockey Talk why he kept changing goaltenders in the Game 5 blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

*Don Cherry explains that he hates afternoon hockey during his Coach’s Corner from Hockey Night in Canada in the Game 5 blowout between the Penguins and Predators.

*A good piece from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Alex Prewitt on the Nashville Predators, and the evolution of the franchise into a team on the verge of a Stanley Cup Final appearance.

*For something completely different: What a win by the Boston Celtics in Game 3 in Cleveland, and quite an interesting, fired up interview with Al Horford afterward.