A year later, Seidenberg reflects on lost time

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg is hoping this spring will be better than the last.

When the veteran blueliner was acquired from the Florida Panthers on March 3, 2010, he was looking forward to a deep run in the Stanley Cup playoffs with Boston. On April 3, however, he suffered a lacerated tendon during a game against the Maple Leafs in Toronto when an opponent’s skate sliced his left wrist.

He was rushed to the hospital and the cut was sutured. Fortunately, he was OK and even attempted to play the next game against the Capitals in Washington, D.C. He was having trouble gripping his stick and noticed a lump in his forearm. When the Bruins returned from the road trip, he had more tests, including an MRI that revealed the lacerated tendon.

With only four games remaining in the regular season, and the playoffs on the horizon, Seidenberg had season-ending surgery. He was a valuable member of the Bruins’ defensive unit and he had to watch from the press box while Boston defeated the Buffalo Sabres in the Stanley Cup conference quarterfinals. If the Bruins had advanced to the conference finals, Seidenberg would have been able to play, but that never happened as Boston fell to the Flyers in Eastern Conference semifinals in devastating fashion, blowing a 3-0 series lead.

“I was a lost puppy up there,” Seidenberg said, referring to watching the games from press level. “I hated watching, so I would walk around as much as possible. It makes me nervous watching hockey games, especially from up top because you think you’re the best player ever because it looks so easy. I chose not to watch as much as I could. It wasn’t a good feeling because I wanted to go out there and play.

“I didn’t know what to feel. I played the whole season just to get into the playoffs and was looking forward to a deep playoff run, but it didn’t happen. This year hopefully everybody stays healthy. I think we have a great team with depth and we feel if we perform the right way, I think we can go far.”

He’s been a major contributor to this season’s team, too, and he’s knocking on wood (literally) that he remains healthy for the final six games of the regular season, because he realizes the potential of this team.

“We still have three games to go until I get to where I was last year [at the time of the injury],” he said. “Everybody feels the energy, including myself and everybody’s getting excited to get started. Hopefully everyone remains healthy and that’s the main thing.”

Another reason Seidenberg was disappointed with his season coming to an abrupt end last spring was due to the fact he was about to become an unrestricted free agent and was looking for a long-term deal. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli knew it would be a smart move to lock up Seidenberg with a four-year deal worth $13 million.

From a security standpoint, Seidenberg got what he wanted. Now, he wants an opportunity to hoist the Stanley Cup over his head.

“I’m very happy,” he said. “Look at the team, we have great young guys coming up, a lot of draft picks coming up and I think the next few years Peter put together a team that’s built for the future, not just now, but for the next few years.”