Dennis Seidenberg is signed until he'll be 36 years old. The Bruins project steady performance from the defenseman.
BOSTON — The four-year extension for Dennis Seidenberg that the Bruins announced Thursday will take the defenseman up until he'll be nearly 37 years old.
It’s an advanced age for a professional athlete, even in hockey where players are more routinely playing at a high level deep into their 30s or even 40s (see: Zdeno Chara, Nicklas Lidstrom, Mark Recchi).
The Bruins have little question that the Seidenberg you see in four years will look awfully similar to the Seidenberg seen in Thursday's 3-1 season-opening win over the Lightning. That's the one who played 31 shifts for 22:41 of ice time, logged crucial minutes on the penalty kill — including two extended 5-on-3’s — and blocked a game-high four shots.
“He does play hard but the way he takes care of his body, he’s going to get bumps and bruises along the way but we felt to have him around for a long period of time, four years, was feasible,” general manager Peter Chiarelli said.
Listed at 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, Seidenberg is Captain America to Chara's Thor. Pound for pound, he's probably the strongest player on the team.
With the workout regimen Seidenberg keeps to, the Bruins don’t project the blue liner to slip as he hits his mid-30s.
“It’s like, he plays like a fullback with the skills to clear the puck too,” Chiarelli said. “He clears the lane and he’s a real strong player. It’s hard to find those guys, hard to find the guys with strength like that, that can clear pucks like that and can still make plays.”
Over the last three seasons, Seidenberg has missed five regular-season games.
Seidenberg's deal includes a full no-trade clause for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, plus the beginning of the 2016-17 season before it becomes a partial no-trade clause.
After bouncing around for a few years (Philadelphia from 2002-06, Phoenix from 2005-06, Carolina from 2007-09 and Florida for most of the 2009-10 season), the German has found a home in Boston. He's been with the Bruins since March 2010 and didn't want to risk going to unrestricted free agency.
“I’m at a stage where I’ve got to look at my family,” he said. “I mean I’ve got kids in school now and you want to kind of plan and know what’s going on next year so that’s why I wanted to get it over with.”