Boston Bruins sign 'Pain Sponge' Dennis Seidenberg to four year, $13 M deal


painsponge.jpgLook, it’s no secret that I admire the work of Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. After all, I did coin what I still hope will be his nickname, “The Pain Sponge” after realizing that – along with leading the NHL in blocked shots this season – he was also one of the league’s most frequently checked players.

Even so, I have to admit that I was surprised the Bruins signed Seidenberg to such an expensive four-year, $13 million contract extension today (according to TSN). That being said, it’s a charming venture for the agony absorber and it stands to mention that the bruised blueliner had a career year with 28 assists and 32 points. He could do a little bit of everything, but it’s still stunning that he’ll be making more than $3 million a year (on average).

Seidenberg is 28-years-old so he should still be able to play at a similar (though maybe not as offensively productive) level through his contract, unless is ability to accept anguish declines with injuries.

Signing Seidenberg to that contract brings the Bruins cap space down to about $4.4 million, at least if my quick subtraction is correct. If, say, Tyler Seguin makes the roster, the team might not have much breathing room but they should be able to ice a team without making moves they’d rather avoid. (Then again, there’s always the “trade Thomas?” debate.)

It was a bumpy ride for the Boston Bruins last year and “The Pain Sponge” stood as a microcosm of that season. The team clearly wants to keep the tough German on a roster that might just do some damage … to the opposition, that is.

Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?

Montreal Canadiens v Minnesota Wild
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Does the NHL have a cocaine problem?

TSN caught up with deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who provided some fascinating insight:

“The number of [cocaine] positives are more than they were in previous years and they’re going up,” Daly said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a crisis in any sense. What I’d say is drugs like cocaine are cyclical and you’ve hit a cycle where it’s an ‘in’ drug again.”


Daly said that he’d be surprised  “if we’re talking more than 20 guys” and then touched on something that may be a problem: they don’t test it in a “comprehensive way.”

As Katie Strang’s essential ESPN article about the Los Angeles Kings’ tough season explored in June, there are some challenges for testing for a drug like cocaine. That said, there are also some limitations that may raise some eyebrows.

For one, it metabolizes quickly. Michael McCabe, a Philadelphia-based toxicology expert who works for Robson Forensic, told that, generally speaking, cocaine filters out of the system in two to four days, making it relatively easy to avoid a flag in standard urine tests.

The NHL-NHLPA’s joint drug-testing program is not specifically designed to target recreational drugs such as cocaine or marijuana. The Performance Enhancing Substances Program is put into place to do exactly that — screen for performance-enhancing drugs.

So, are “party drugs” like cocaine and molly an issue for the NHL?

At the moment, the answer almost seems to be: “the league hopes not.”

Daly goes into plenty of detail on the issue, so read the full TSN article for more.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.