The Boston Bruins were very busy this offseason, what with the Tyler Seguin trade that sent the young winger to the Dallas Stars in exchange for Loui Erikkson and prospects, while also signing future Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla. They also spent a deal of cap space bring in two of their most important players, resigning goalie Tuukka Rask and franchise center Patrice Bergeron to multi-year deals that should keep both in Boston through their primes.
Now, it appears the Bruins are working on retaining another one of their key players. ESPN Boston is reporting that the team is currently in the middle of contract talks with defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, who’s in the final year of his four year contract. GM Peter Chiarelli was less than subtle when asked just exactly where on his priorities list resigning the German blueliner was.
“It’s pretty high,” Chiarelli said. “We’ve had discussions and we’ll figure something out there.”
Seidenberg was brought to Boston via trade with the Florida Panthers in 2010. At the time, fans saw it as a minor, albeit lackluster deal. The Bruins were not exactly lighting the world on fire at the time, with a ten game losing streak not very far behind in the rearview mirror. However, Seidenberg has gone well beyond the expectations placed upon him from his acquisition. During regular season play, coach Claude Julien likes to rotate Seidenberg around his defensive pairings. Come playoff time, though, Seidenberg is almost always lined up with team captain Zdeno Chara. The duo has become one of the best shutdown pairings in the NHL.
With a large influx of youth in Boston’s defense, it’s important to retain solid veteran leaders. Seidenberg is just that, and he’s gone on record as saying he’d like to stay with the Bruins.
“Very much,” Seidenberg said. “This is where everything took off for me and things have gone well so far. I want to stay here for a period of time and I think this is the best place to play hockey and hopefully we can get it done soon.”
The Bruins can afford not to rush the signing. Perhaps even putting talks on hold every now and then throughout the season will result in Seidenberg putting in extra effort in attempts to earn a bigger deal. However, if the offseason comes along and he’s still unsigned, the team may have a problem on their hands. We’ve seen time and time again the desperation some clubs can show in throwing a ton of money towards one free agent, and Seidenberg could very likely end up in that scenario if Boston can’t get him locked up.