It remains to be seen how much the Bruins will improve over the season’s final 21 games with Dennis Seidenberg on their back end instead of Derek Morris, but it’s a pretty decent bet that Seidenberg’s situation has improved.
The veteran defenseman was dealt to Boston Wednesday from the Florida Panthers, who in the weeks and days leading up to the trade deadline also traded away veterans Jordan Leopold and Dominic Moore. The Panthers’ fire sale started just before the Olympic break, when the team’s owner put out a press release predicting major changes to the organization.
“It was tough,” admitted Seidenberg during a team-organized conference call. “Everybody knew they could’ve gotten traded, but at the end we all didn’t have control of what was going to happen. So all we could do is just go out and play. We tried to do that; it didn’t really work out as well. But at least we tried to put our heads into the game and play hockey.”
So Seidenberg gets to go from the 13th-place team in the Eastern Conference -- and a club that dealt a few key players for prospects and draft picks -- to the 8th-place team. He’s not guaranteed a trip back to the playoffs, but at least he’s back in the hunt.
“If you look at the team, they’re almost the same as they were last year,” said Seidenberg, who went head to head with the Bruins in the seven-game conference semifinal series his Carolina team won last spring. “So I think there’s no doubt in my mind that they have a chance to go deep in the playoffs this year. What the reason is for this year’s struggles, I don’t know, I haven’t followed it too close. But hopefully we’re … going to solidify our position in the top eight for the playoffs.”
Seidenberg signed with Florida over the summer as an unrestricted free agent. He said he wasn’t sure if his agent had talked to Boston then, but Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said he had some interest in the German’s services at one point. Now Seidenberg says his goal is to get a long-term deal. How he and the Bruins perform the next five weeks and beyond could determine if he gets that deal and if it comes from Boston.