TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported today that Dennis Seidenberg was placed on waivers with the intention of a buyout. The Bruins owed the aging defenceman $8 million over the next two seasons. General Fanager’s breakdown of the buyout shows that Boston will now be penalized $1.2, $2.2, $1.2, and $1.2 million against the salary cap for the next four seasons.
At first glance, the biggest concern is the B’s will be unable to spend to the cap with players on their actual roster for the next four seasons but it does ultimately free up cap space and roster spot for this year and next (not to mention the room needed to get Krug under contract) . If they were a team in shouting distance of a cup run, or on the precipice of such a run, this would be harder to swallow. Although the B’s have one foot in and one foot out of “total rebuild”, it’s my hope that this move allows the Bruins to commit to developing at least one young defenceman in the NHL. Dennis Seidenberg’s knee injury proved to be too much to overcome. His presence on the roster prevented the B’s from truly committing to development, much like some of their overpaid aging forwards were roadblocks to fresh blood up front.
At some point in a player’s development playing the AHL becomes counterproductive. A player like Colin Miller has played very well in that league, and still spent much of his year down in Providence working out some kinks in his game. He’s the perfect candidate to be thrown a full workload, instead of rotating in and out of the 6th D spot with either other young guys or Kevan Miller on one of his bad streaks. Plus, Brandon Carlo, Matt Gryzleck, and soon Charlie McAvoy will be en route to push for spots.
Bottom line, I’ll take the 4 year penalty in the hopes that the Bruins commit to allowing whoever they identify as the most NHL ready D prospect the space to make mistakes, learn, and improve at the highest level. If the B’s just replace Seidenberg with the dregs of free agency (Kris Russell) then this will be an unnecessary weight to carry for 4 seasons instead of biting the bullet and carrying around Seidenberg for two.