The Boston Bruins had spend nearly the entire 2013-2014 season without Dennis Seidenberg anchoring the blue line, but the hope was that heâ€™d be a veteran presence with some permanence and minute-eating ability in the teamâ€™s somewhat transitional 2015-2016 campaign — but that wonâ€™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 wonâ€™t be on the ice with the rest of the clubâ€™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 wonâ€™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, heâ€™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 teamâ€™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 heâ€™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 seasonâ€™s 1-4 record early on. Thereâ€™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 teamâ€™s pre-season matchup against the Devils, is expected to hold the 22-year old centre out of the lineup for 3-4 weeks.