Boston Bruins fans remember the 2013 off-season mostly for the Tyler Seguin trade, but there was another big move made that summer.
Dennis Seidenberg’s contract was nearly up in Boston — and the German defenseman had just turned thirty-two, but he was still one of the strongest (and most reliable) back-end blue liners the Bruins employed. He was a workhorse; the team knew he could be iced for top line minutes each and every night without showing much fatigue, and he seemed to want to stay with the team.
So at the start of the season, he was inked to a monster extension — worth four years and sixteen million dollars over that time — complete with a full no-trade clause. Seidenberg seemed as happy about it as the team did; he wanted to stay in Boston for a long time.
For the first half of the 2013-2014 season, he performed exactly as he should — but after a knee injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season, his glow started to fade.
It wasn’t just him; with veteran winger Jarome Iginla’s contract bonuses counting against their cap that following season (even though there was no Iginla still on the ice with the team), the Bruins were pressed against the cap ceiling with a semi-assembled roster. Add in the need to re-sign two restricted free agents, and the team had to deal away blue liner Johnny Boychuk to even fit under the cap with both Torey Krug and Reilly Smith on the roster. They’re still powerful and competent, but gone is the team that finished first overall in 2014 with a +82 goal differential; instead, the Bruins are barely clinging to a playoff spot with lackluster offense and a patchy defense.
Dennis Seidenberg knows it, too — and so when the rumors that the team was shopping him surfaced, he didn’t let his full no-trade clause do the speaking for him. As a matter of fact, he might not let it do it’s job at all.
According to Joe Haggerty of Comcast Sportsnet, Seidenberg has agreed to waive his no-trade clause if the ‘team doesn’t want him anymore’.
The comments have inevitably created some online backlash — some Boston fans argue that the team should never have backed themselves into this kind of financial corner in the first place, while others think that this is pushing away a loyal team member who no longer feels welcome in the city he once loved.
Financially, though, it makes sense to shop Seidenberg — with very few competent back-end defensemen on the market and not much to offer from the Bruins’ roster in the first place, an aging blue liner is likely to be the first one to go. The team needs the cap space, and they don’t have many options.
If he does waive his no-trade clause, though, the team will have to figure out where he’ll land… and soon. The trade deadline is closer than we’d all care to admit; if Boston wants to make the playoffs, they’ll have to hurry.