The Boston Bruins bought out the final two years of defenseman Dennis Seidenberg's contract Thursday.
"It's a shock," Seidenberg told the Boston Herald. "(Bruins general manager) Donnie [Sweeney] called me [this morning] and he said it was a tough call to make but he had to buy me out, that they were going with the kids. Told me I was a great guy and that was it."
Seidenberg, who turns 35 on July 18, will become an unrestricted free agent Friday. His contract would have carried a $4 million NHL salary-cap charge the next two seasons. The Bruins will be charged $1.166 million against the cap next season, with additional cap charges of $2.166 million in 2017-18, and $1.116 million in 2018-19 and 2019-20.
"Very, very difficult decision and call to make to Dennis," Sweeney told the newspaper. "… We just had a shift in philosophy and the direction with our younger players, wanting to provide them with an opportunity to emerge while we continue to explore opportunities, both internally and externally to improve our hockey club."
The Bruins signed 25-year-old defenseman Torey Krug to a four-year contract on Thursday, and have Zach Tortman (25) and Joe Morrow (23) on the roster.
Seidenberg has 39 goals and 185 assists in 758 NHL games during 13 seasons with the Bruins, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, Arizona Coyotes and Philadelphia Flyers. He had 12 points in 61 games for Boston this season. Seidenberg helped the Bruins defeat the Vancouver Canucks to win the Stanley Cup in 2011 with 11 points and a plus-12 rating in 25 games.
A native of Germany, Seidenberg was selected in the sixth round (No. 172) of the 2001 NHL Draft by the Flyers and was acquired by the Bruins along with defenseman Matt Bartkowski in trade with the Florida Panthers on March 3, 2010 for forwards Byron Bitz and Craig Weller, and a second-round pick in 2010.
"I loved playing there," Seidneberg said. "I loved living in the city. I'm going to miss it."