Dennis Seidenberg has been around the Bruins for the past five years and he’s seen the highs and lows that have come right along with the Black and Gold experience.
The German defenseman's absence is one of the common denominators in two of the B's more disappointing postseasons: Seidenberg was injured and unavailable for the playoff collapse against the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010, and the same for this spring’s second-round ouster at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens.
Clearly, the German defenseman is a key cog in the Bruins success and he’s become one of the team leaders based on his tireless hard work and team-based attitude. So, there is some resonance when Seidenberg said he hopes this past season's edition of the Bruins – the one that rolled through the regular season, and then disappointed in the postseason -- gets another kick at the Stanley Cup next year.
Hockey sources have indicated to CSNNE.com that the Bruins are going to be very active in the trade market leading up to the July free agency period, despite public assertions by Peter Chiarelli and Cam Neely that the roster only needs some “tweaks.”
Players such as Brad Marchand ($4.5 million cap hit) and/or Johnny Boychuk ($3.66 million cap hit) could be moved, based on a combination of salary cap hardship for Boston, and considerably high value on the trade market. The Bruins have roughly $9 million to sign Reilly Smith, Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski, Shawn Thornton, Jarome Iginla – or a suitable replacement right wing for the B’s top line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic -- and a backup goaltender. That isn’t nearly enough cap space for more than 25 percent of the NHL roster.
With an influx of new general managers looking to make a splash, teams looking to work magic under the salary cap and a real dearth of top-tier free agents, the phone lines for each of the 30 NHL managers will be burning up over the next month.
Seidenberg hopes nothing major happens with the Bruins, but also knows pretty much all of it is out of his control as he enters the first year of a four-year contract with the Black and Gold.
“When you look at the whole regular season, which was a long time and a lot of games, you saw evidence of the guys being able to play well and dominate hockey games,” said Seidenberg. “In the playoffs, we just didn’t play our best hockey. That’s what you have to do in order to win rounds.
“I don’t think there’s a reason for big tweaks to the lineup, but that’s up to management. They have to do what they think is best. We’ll see, I guess.”
Seidenberg is right, of course. The players are the stars of the show in the regular season and playoffs. Now, Chiarelli and the B’s front office become the biggest factors in offseason wins and losses as they try to build a better, stronger roster for next season.