The Boston Bruins had spend nearly the entire 2013-2014 season without Dennis Seidenberg anchoring the blue line, but the hope was that he’d be a veteran presence with some permanence and minute-eating ability in the team’s somewhat transitional 2015-2016 campaign — but that won’t be happening.
Per NHL.com, Seidenberg — who was reported to be day-to-day with a pre-existing injury coming into training camp — will miss eight weeks to have surgery for a herniated disc in his back; the 34-year old German born defenceman won’t be on the ice with the rest of the club’s roster until likely some time around late November to early December.
Drafted 172nd overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Seidenberg was a source of controversy during the 2014-2015 campaign when his name was brought up as a potential trading piece for the cap-strapped Bruins.
His $4M AAV cap hit — which won’t expire until the end of the 2017-2018 season — comes saddled with a full no-trade clause until the end of December 2016, but the veteran blue liner suggested around the trade deadline that if the club wanted him gone, he’d be willing to waive the trade restriction to help them out.
That, of course, never ended up happening. The left shot blue liner, who played a key part in the team’s successful Stanley Cup run in 2011 and another key role in their trip to the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, is still a member of the black and gold roster — but now he’ll be forced to sit out the start of the season, leaving the club at risk of seeing another start to their year that looks like last season’s 1-4 record early on. There’s some reassurance brought by early pre-season wins over the New Jersey Devils and Washington Capitals — youngster David Pastrnak is meshing well with centre David Krejci, and a healthy Krejci is reassuring in itself — but the lack of a significant member of the blue line corps for that long a period of time is certainly something that the club will potentially struggle with.
In addition to the loss of Seidenberg for the eight-week time span, the Bruins have lost forward Seth Griffith to an MCL sprain in his left knee. The injury, which occurred during the team’s pre-season matchup against the Devils, is expected to hold the 22-year old centre out of the lineup for 3-4 weeks.