The Islanders bolstered their defensive depth by signing veteran Dennis Seidenberg to a one-year, $1-million deal on Wednesday.
Seidenberg, 35, is currently participating in the World Cup for Team Europe and will report to the Islanders when the tournament wraps up. He spent the last six seasons with the Bruins and has also played for the Flyers, Coyotes, Hurricanes and Panthers in a 13-year NHL career.
The Islanders had been in discussions with Seidenberg for several weeks, as were a handful of other clubs who were hoping to see the veteran play in the World Cup before committing to a deal. The Bruins bought out the remaining two seasons of Seidenberg’s, four-year, $16-million deal on July 1.
Seidenberg has averaged over 20 minutes a game during the World Cup, showing he’s worth the small financial gamble the Islanders took. General manager Garth Snow has a long history of ensuring his Islanders teams have a seasoned veteran defenseman on the roster in case of injuries and, with precious little experience at the bottom end of his defense corps, Snow made the move to add Seidenberg.
The Islanders now have 24 players on one-way contracts and can only keep 23 players on the roster — and that’s with Ryan Pulock, still on his entry-level deal, presumably grabbing a defense spot. It would seem Snow still has some maneuvering to do before rosters must be set before the season begins on Oct. 12.
Johnny Boychuk, who was paired frequently with Seidenberg during the Bruins’ 2010-11 Stanley Cup season, has missed the opening preseason games with an upper-body injury, but he’s not believed to be in danger of missing significant time.
Aside from Pulock, the Islanders’ only real NHL-ready depth on defense comes from Scott Mayfield, who has played 11 NHL games, and Adam Pelech, who played nine games last season.
The Islanders returned three teenage defensemen to their junior clubs on Wednesday: Parker Wotherspoon (Tri-City, Western League), David Quenneville (Medicine Hat, WHL) and Mitchell Vande Sompel (Oshawa, Ontario League).