Morning Skate 22: Weather dominating the NHL

Morning Skate 22: Weather dominating the NHL

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON With snow burying the East Coast and ice storms paralyzing places like Texas, it should be an interesting week all around for the NHL.The league already had to postpone a game between the Colorado Avalanche and the St. Louis Blues scheduled in St. Louis on Tuesday night, and its a much more difficult proposition to reschedule NHL games than it is to, say, replay a Major League Baseball game knocked out by rain.There isnt a lot of fat to trim from an NHL teams schedule, so it can take a healthy amount of juggling to set things right once again. Keep that in mind with the Dallas Stars attempting to get out of a crazy ice storm in Texas thats threatening to keep them grounded in the Lone Star State when they have to travel all the way to Boston for a Thursday night game.As more than one Bruins player said last night after dispatching the Hurricanes, its a good time to be going on a little homestand for a while.On to the links: E.J. Hradek breaks down the Calder Trophy race in the NHL, and needs to be clued in that Brad Marchand is both A) eligible and B) worthy of some consideration. Warning: you need to have ESPN Insider status to read the story. A good interview by CBC'sElliotte Friedman with Eric Staal during All-Star weekend in Carolina. The New York Posts Larry Brooks questions the heart of the Bruins, and said the players on the team dont care about each other. As opposed to the Rangers, who are just filled with heart and desire. Sarcasm. Donald Fehr sat sown with the Toronto Globe and Mail among several other media outlets over All-Star weekend, and introduced himself to the hockey media at large. Justin Bourne lays out three reasons why All-Star weekend lacked personality, though I think there was plenty of personality in the Friday night fantasy draft. It just didnt extend out more to Saturday and Sunday. Mike Santorelli is quietly putting together a solid season for the Florida Panthers in hockey anonymity. Funny little anecdote between Yahoo! Sports hockey blogger Sean Leahy and the St. Louis Blues mascot threatening to have a dance-off with each other. Good column from WEEI.coms D.J. Bean wondering aloud whether a goaltender like Tim Thomas should be considered the Hart Trophy. (Answer: He should.)Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

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.