The Florida Panthers have boosted their less than stellar blueline ensemble by signing former Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Dennis Seidenberg to a one-year, 2.25-million dollar contract.
Seidenberg fits nicely into the Panthers’ top-four after spending the last few seasons on the Hurricanes’ second-pairing. The Hurricanes were a good team last season, so they didn’t take as many own-zone draws as most teams, but when they did Seidenberg was one of just a handful of players to take a lot of them. The following chart ranks the Hurricanes defensive group by defensive zone draws minus offensive zone draws at even strength (courtesy of Time On Ice):
- Conboy: +11
- Wallin: +4
- Seidenberg: even
- Brookbank: -1
- Gleason: -4
- Kaberle: -32
- Babchuk: -53
- Corvo: -56
- Pitkanen: -60
We can see that the Hurricanes’ coaches (first Peter Laviolette and later Paul Maurice) made the entirely sensible decision to have their four offense-first blueliners take those extra offensive zone draws, so Seidenberg collected his career-high 30 points without a ton of help from the coaching staff.
Seidenberg has the reputation of being good at a lot of things and great at nothing, but last year he really took strides in terms of physical involvement. He finished second among Hurricanes defenseman with 146 hits, and led the way with 160 blocked shots. Also of note: Seidenberg may have finished fourth among Hurricanes defensemen in points (30) but he finished second in even-strength points (19), just one back of the team leader, Anton Babchuk.
Overall, this signing is probably fair value and definitely makes the Panthers a little bit stronger on the back end.