BOSTON, MA -- For the last few months, Dennis Seidenberg had the unique opportunity to return home to Germany to join his brother Yanick on the ice with the Mannheim Eagles.
"The best part [was] just being home again," said Seidenberg of his time away from Boston. "I haven’t been home in seven years and just being able to enjoy hanging out with people that I haven’t hung out with in a long time and just getting to play with the team that I started with...was a good time."
But Dennis, born in Schwenningen, Germany, expects even better times ahead here in New England.
"I just drove by this morning and I got a really good feeling," said Seidenberg of his commute down Causeway Street to Commonwealth Avenue - the informal training home of the Boston Bruins over the last several days.
"When I passed the Garden I was just imagining going back out to the ice in front of the fans and being able to play here again.
"I think everybody feels the same way and is excited to get going," he said.
Seidenberg's training habits are legendary (think Ivan Drago of Rocky fame) around an already fit group in Boston (thanks to Strength and Conditioning Coach John Whitesides), and he said he is in shape and raring to go.
"I played a few games and I feel good," said the defenseman. "Just a little jet-lagged right now but other than that I feel good."
Seidenberg said his time in Mannheim started slow but the B's blueliner ended his European junket with 2-18-20 totals (and a plus-15) in 26 games.
"I wasn’t even on the power play for the first few games," said Seidenberg. "I’m not saying I’m an offensive player but they just [cycle] through six, seven, sometimes eight guys.
"So, it was good, you got your shifts in, you got your ice time, but you never really tired yourself out too much."
The game looked different in Germany, but Seidenberg was happy to get his legs under him as he prepped for work in Boston, however he understood the true test would come in a training camp.
"You can practice as much as you want or skate yourself or work out of the lockerroom, but you never get in the same shape as you play," said the blueliner. "Just having that [skating] the last few months definitely helps, hopefully helps, but the game over there is a lot more skating, no hitting, so it’s a little bit different."
Along those lines, asked how everyone looked on the ice at Boston University, Seidenberg said, "You can’t really tell.
"It’s tough to really judge on how guys are -- how guys feel -- when you have practices like this," said Seidenberg. "I guess you can tell, start telling, once we start camp.
"Right now, it’s just too early to tell if somebody is ready or not," he said.
However, Seidenberg himself is ready and just like many of his teammates have said previously, explained everyone in Black & Gold better be ready - quickly, because the B's have a great opportunity in a shortened season.
"There’s no reason that we shouldn’t do well," said Seidenberg. "We’re still pretty much the same team we had when we won a couple years ago.
"We should be rested and ready to go."