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The Bear Cave


March 4, 2010 1:44 AM

Quiet Deadline, as Seidenberg is Boston's Lone Acquisition

The National Hockey League has been back in action for three days since the Olympic Break, and just like that, the trade deadline has flown right by. In terms of quantity, Wednesday served as the busiest trade deadline since the 2004-05 lockout. However, in terms of quality, most of the excitement happened prior to the Olympics. When all was said and done at 5:00 (it took two hours for all of the extra paper work to be filed), 31 trades were made on Wednesday, with 55 players and 25 draft picks getting moved.

For the hometown Boston Bruins, this was a quiet trade deadline. Last season, the Bruins made some noise, acquiring Mark Recchi from the Tampa Bay Lightning, as well as Steve Montador from the Anaheim Ducks. For the second year in a row, Boston pulled the trigger on a blueliner, bringing in Dennis Seidenberg from the Florida Panthers. However, in terms of NHL players, that was it.

On the other side of the trade equations, the Bruins saw two NHL players leave town, as Derek Morris was shipped to Phoenix, while Byron Bitz was part of the trade with the Panthers.

Two other players were involved in trade deadline deals with the Bruins. Providence forward Craig Weller joined Bitz on his way to Florida, while Matthew Bartkowski came the other way. Boston also swapped a pair of picks, sending a second round pick to the Panthers, while acquiring a fourth round pick in 2011 from the Coyotes.

With the Bruins currently sitting in last place in the NHL in goals scored, it's easy to see why fans around Boston might have been upset about Wednesday's news. Raffi Torres was one of the names drawing interest during the day, but when the dust settled, the Buffalo Sabres pulled the trigger on that trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Other than Torres, very few significant names went for forwards, leaving the Bruins exactly where they started the day.

In terms of what the team did acquire, Dennis Seidenberg joins the Bruins as his fifth NHL team, and third in as many years. The German defenseman began his career with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2002-03, and spent parts of four seasons within that organization. During the 2005-06 campaign, Seidenberg was dealt to the Phoenix Coyotes, where he completed the second half of the season. 2006-07 saw a similar fate for the 6-foot-1 blueliner, as Phoenix elected to trade him to the Carolina Hurricanes. After a shortened 2007-08 season, Seidenberg experienced his best professional season one yer ago, scoring 30 points in 70 games, while helping Carolina to the Eastern Conference Final. This past offseason, Dennis signed on with the Florida Panthers, where he scored two goals, 21 assists, and 23 points in 62 games. In 357 career games, Dennis Seidenberg has 16 goals, 91 assists, 107 points, and 146 penalty minutes.

Boston's other acquisition was defenseman Matthew Bartkowski. Bartkowski was originally taken with the 190th overall pick by the Panthers in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. The 21-year old is currently in his sophomore season at Ohio State University. The Pittsburgh, PA native has recorded nine goals, 27 assists, 36 points, and 133 penalty minutes in 75 career games at the collegiate level.

In the first trade of the day, the Bruins lost Derek Morris to the Phoenix Coyotes. Morris didn't get to spend much time in a Boston uniform, as the team had signed him to a free agent contract this past summer. In fact, the former first round draft pick played just 58 games as a Bruin, picking up three goals, 22 assists, 25 points, and 26 penalty minutes. However, one of Morris' best moments with the club came during the Winter Classic, when he set up Mark Recchi's tying goal in the third period.

In the second trade, Byron Bitz saw his career in the organization come to an end. Bitz was originally taken with the 107th overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. After a four-year collegiate career at Cornell, the Saskatoon, SK native broke into the professional ranks with the Providence Bruins in 2007-08. After a season and a half in the AHL, Bitz was recalled to Boston, and never looked back. In 80 games with the Boston Bruins, the 25-year old had eight goals, eight assists, 16 points, and 49 penalty minutes. One of the best moments for Bitz was his goal in game seven against the Carolina Hurricanes last spring.

Craig Weller also leaves the Bruins' organization after 55 games with the Baby B's. In that time, Weller had four goals, ten assists, 14 points, 62 penalty minutes, and was considered one of the veteran leaders on a relatively young squad.

Dennis Seidenberg is expected to make his Boston Bruins' debut on Thursday night, when the team plays host to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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