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Transcript from Bruins GM Don Sweeney and Head Coach Claude Julien on 9/23

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS TRAINING CAMP

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

BOSTON BRUINS GENERAL MANAGER DON SWEENEY
On how much Dennis Seidenberg’s injury hurts the start of the season…
Well it’s definitely a setback first and foremost from Dennis’s standpoint. You know he’s worked hard. He came back from an ACL last year and has a setback which we hope being identified fairly early in camp, tried to get some rest to let it calm down- wasn’t able to do that and you know got a couple weeks ahead of the season to have the surgery done and get the healing well underway. So it’s definitely a setback. I mean it’s obviously an opportunity for the other guys we were evaluating anyway, amongst our D core, and we’ll go from there. 

On how exactly he injured himself…
He was just training and came in a previous Monday and said that he had some symptoms and our guys jumped right on it to see where it was coming from, identified it, hoped it had calmed down but they went through further testing yesterday and they concluded that they would like to move forward with a microdisectomy.

On if it got actively worst or just didn’t change…
Exactly. [Didn’t change]

On if it was something that just happened or if it developed over time…
He had zero symptoms heading into it so, you know, again training and it happened.

On what his expectations were for Seidenberg going into this season…
Oh certainly I had high expectations with how he would fit into our group. I mean players do take, in any sport, take a long time to recover from an ACL you know. The way Dennis is built to get back and do things as hard as he can, it’s no surprise he was able to play in a few games last year, despite coming off the surgery. I think he felt good about where his training was overall and he was excited about the year as we were, with how he was going to fit into our group. So again it’s a void that internally we’re trying to assess and as I’ve always said, to be consistent I’ll continue to talk to other teams and people that may or may not be available to see if we need to fill that void.

On if this injury augments those discussions with other teams…
Only under the right circumstances, you know, if it’s going to be the right fit for us relative to the guys that we have and that we’ve been assessing overall. We’ve felt we’ve had very good depth, albeit some of it inexperienced but now they’re getting an opportunity and hopefully they can take advantage of it.

On what his thoughts are on the young defensemen they have at Training Camp…
Well we’re only two games in. I thought against New Jersey in Providence the other night, you know, we all got off to a slow start and [Joonas] Gustavsson was really good early on. And then our guys sort of settled in and started to play. Last night, similar fashion, but I thought they handled themselves fine. You know obviously you understand there’s a progression going on through camp and then when the season starts that’s where we have to continue to evaluate them as a group. And they’re going to get and opportunity to play here while I sort of evaluate and canvas what may or may not in other teams and see whether there’s an opportunity to add, if not then we feel confident that we have a strong group of guys. Albeit like I said maybe some of them are inexperienced but I think Kevan Miller getting back in there and being healthy and excited and Kevan, you know, I think will bring a lot to the table in a similar fashion to Dennis. But he’ll be missed. He’s an important part of our group.

On if Dennis Seidenberg said what his specific symptoms were…
I think it was nerve aggravation. It really wasn’t a pain situation, just that nerve was bothering him and again, didn’t get arguably any worse just sort of was persisting and the surgeons, our doctors and medical staff decided this was the best course of action.

On if he was okay when he started Training Camp…
No, the previous Monday, he had reported prior to training camp starting that he had some symptoms.

On if it was because of his training regiment that he got injured…
Yeah, I mean you know stuff happens in terms of training wise. He reported as soon as he had a symptom and we took the course of action that we needed to take.

On if he played in the golf tournament…
He did not play in the golf tournament.

On if they thought the injury was going to be anything serious…
That was our hope. I certainly wasn’t hoping it’d be the other way around.

On if he had known Dennis Seidenberg was going to get injured, would he had done anything differently over the summer…
Well as of right now, you know, it’s an eight-week process that he’s returning to play, you know if everything goes accordingly. If it had been earlier in the summer maybe we wouldn’t have had this issue at this point in time. I mean timing is everything in life so you know you get a curveball you deal with it. And that’s what we’ll do.

On what he made of Alexander Khokhlachev’s comments about not feeling like he’s had a fair chance…
I mean everybody’s entitled to their opinion. In terms of what he feels, you look at him and say that he’s confident in his own abilities. And privately we’ve had a lot of conversations with him to understand what it takes to be a complete hockey player, and you know he’ll continue to get a chance. We’ve done that and we’re going to continue to with all of our young players.

On if it’s a tough call as to whether or not he should acquire new players…
Well obviously we’ll, based on what the surgery results will be this week, we’ll go from there. I mean the process already started it hasn’t stopped, to tell you the truth, about talking to players that may be a good fit for us relative to, you know, as I said, the ongoing assessment of the players we have and whether or not they can fill the gap, be it however many games that’s going to be. You know, you’re throwing out a number- maybe the doctors throw out a different number. So we have to take that into consideration based on what the surgery results are and what we expect as a result of that and go forward.

On how long Seidenberg will be out before he can start rehabilitation…
Again, I think we’ve termed it as return to play if everything goes according to plan, you know, as an eight-week period. You know what, he hasn’t had the surgery so I’m not going to comment in terms of how the progression of rehab will go. We’ll wait…take it one step at a time. They’re confident in their assessment that surgery will alleviate this and within the eight-week period he’ll be back playing.

On what Dennis Seidenberg said to him about the injury…
You know what? He apologized. You know, again, it’s not something he had hoped would happen to himself first and foremost. And he’s a proud guy and a team member and he takes that to heart. So he was apologetic and said he’ll do what he can to get back and that’s what you appreciate in a guy who cares.

On if this injury changes his timeline in terms of making cuts…
Yeah, it may, you know. Based on each and every night, you know. We’re going to do some shuffling around here in the next couple of days based on what we’ve seen so far and we’ll continue to do that. Look forward to seeing somebody, you know, probably take a hold of those minutes and see where it goes.

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN
On what it means to lose Dennis Seidenberg…
Well I think it’s important for me right now to focus on what I’ve got and, you know, make sure I do the best to make it work. That’s always part of the game when you got some players that got injured throughout the season so it’s unfortunate that it’s happened to him at that time but I’ll move forward with the guys that we have and there’s a lot of guys that are eager to prove that they belong here…obviously that’ll give them a chance.

On how losing Dennis Seidenberg will alter the penalty kill…
I think we’ll…I mean again, we’ll see. There’s a lot of again…we’ll have extra Ds when the time comes so we’ll look at our lineup, what is best for us at that time I guess. Do we need a more offensive type of defenseman or guys that can kill? Depends again, I always say the same thing: you play some big teams sometimes you need some weight out there. Sometimes a not so heavy team so you can afford to have a little bit more of a lighter back end that can move the puck well also. And again, it’s about balancing the killers and the power play guys. So we’ll look at that and…like I said there’s some guys here vying for some spots that can do that job, they just have to show that they’re ready to do it in Training Camp here in those preseason games and we’ll move forward with that.

On what the most difficult things to replace will be when it comes to Dennis Seidenberg…
Again, I think I’m looking at the situation. I’ve got a lot more to deal with like…there’s a lot of things with this team than the one injury. And you know, Dennis Seidenberg is a real important part of our team, but we’ve played without him many times with injuries here. So I’m just more or less looking at doing what we need to do here with the guys that we have and not so much what I’m going to miss about him and that’s what am I going to get from the other guys that are going to be replacing him that’s most important.

On which guys have stood out early on that could jump up a few notches…
I think there’s a… you know again, you mention a few names and you always forget a few. So I stay away from doing those things because, you know, I have a lot of names in my head right now from all positions. And there’s been…there’s guys that have been call-ups, there’s guys that you know have done a great job, there’s guys that we’ve traded for when you talk about Colin Miller and you know you have to look at all those guys and what they bring to your lineup. And you know if we have to, can one right D play left at times? And I know that Kevan Miller has done a little bit at times for killing penalties for example and so on and so forth. So, you know again, there’s so much that goes into all of that that I’m going to make that decision and I’m going to be clear, I’m going to be I guess confident, with the chosen group. You know once this camp is over. I’m sure we’ll have seven probably, like I said earlier, probably eight Ds back there and that does create some competition, you know, even without Dennis [Seidenberg] and now it opens up the door for a lot of guys to fight for that open spot. So I think if anything we can benefit from that.

On if there’s any advantage to the fact that this injury happened before the start of the season…
Well if I had a choice I’d rather now than at the end of the year you know I kind of think we can look at it that way. And you know, let’s get it done and you know it can be even hard for a player you know to come in in January something after missing and teams are you know a ten player game is at their best. So earlier in the season probably, you know, teams improve as they go along here. So albeit he’s got a better chance of jumping in our lineup here after whatever the amount of time he’ll be out and hopefully jump in and not take as long to fit in with the rest.

On having a chance to look at combinations before rather than just having to do it before tomorrow…
Yeah, well you know guys like I said I think we’re really making a big thing out of this because we played in the playoffs a few years ago where we had to call up [Matt] Bartkowski, [Torey] Krug and there was somebody else and you know with three young Ds and then we still got through I think it was New York at that time. So, listen those are things that happen and again I can’t keep dwelling on one injury. I’m really confident with the guys that we have. We have enough depth that we can overcome that. 
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