Editorials

New York Islanders 2016-17 Player Grade: Dennis Seidenberg

Feb 25, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Dennis Seidenberg (4) against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets won 7-0. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 25, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Dennis Seidenberg (4) against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets won 7-0. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Think what you will but the New York Islanders feel that Dennis Seidenberg’s season was a success. Because they offered him a one-year deal worth $1.25 million.

The New York Islanders signed Dennis Seidenberg during the World Cup of Hockey. At the time he was representing Team Europe who surprised everyone to make it all the way to the best-of-three final against Canada.

They gave the 36-year-old a single year $1 million deal to add some veteran depth to the Islanders blueline. And prevent a player like Ryan Pulock to make the roster right out of camp.

I for one wasn’t pleased with what his addition meant for the team and their lineup. But then he was absurdly productive out of the gate. I had to eat my words.

New York Islanders

In his first twelve games, Seidenberg put up eight points and made the Islanders defense one of the highest scoring in the NHL at the time. There wasn’t anything to hate about his game.

He was solid defensively, he was driving play forward, and was producing himself. All at $1 million on the cap. It was ideal.

Season Doesn’t End in November

If the season ended in November, Seidenberg would have been the best player for the Isles. And we’d all be asking “Ryan Pulock who?”. But it doesn’t, and Seidenberg quickly regressed to what we all thought we were getting in September.

A solid defender, but a player that wasn’t going to change the outcome of a game and would feel the effects of an 82 game season earlier than the others.

For most of the season, the Isles needed that game changer on the blueline. When the Isles chances at the playoffs were both possible but also growing increasingly unlikely, they needed that player who could add something the Isles just didn’t have.

Most of us felt, and still feel that the addition of Ryan Pulock would have had a positive effect on the team, primarily on the power play. But keeping Seidenberg on the team was worth it. He finished with a +25. He has to be good!?

Make sure to read this study done by SB Nation’s Arctic Ice Hockey to understand why plus/minus isn’t as descriptive as you thought it might be.

So if his only benefit was solid defensive play and some great production at the start of the season, I’d argue that keeping Ryan Pulock on the team would have garnered a better effect.

Next: It's Time to Trade Josh Bailey

Dennis Seidenberg was perfectly fine for the Islanders last season, and will likely be perfectly fine for the Isles next season now that they gave him a $250,000 raise. But his effect on the rest of the roster can’t be ignored.

Final Grade: B-

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