BOSTON — Dennis Seidenberg is one of the best hockey players to ever come from Germany.
The veteran defenseman is in his 13th NHL season and has played for the Boston Bruins since they acquired him before the trade deadline during the 2009-10 campaign. The 34-year-old’s list of accomplishments include a Stanley Cup championship, and hockey fans back in Germany are well aware of his career.
“In the hockey world, (Seidenberg is) probably one of the biggest names we’ve had, or we have right now,” Edmonton Oilers and German-born center Leon Draisaitl said Monday at TD Garden. “He’s done a lot of good things in his hockey career, and people recognize that back home, too.”
Draisaitl, who actually played with Seidenberg’s brother in Germany, became the highest drafted German player in the NHL when the Oilers selected him with the third overall pick in 2014. The 20-year-old center leads all forwards from the 2014 draft class with 35 career points, and he has excelled on Edmonton’s top line with 21 points in the last 18 games.
Draisaitl, like Seidenberg, has a unique opportunity to grow the sport of hockey in Germany.
“Everybody hopes for that at one point in their career,” Draisaitl said. “If I can be that and get kids to play more hockey back home, I’d love to be that guy.
“I’m getting more attention there, and hockey is getting more attention. It seems a little bigger over there, and people seem to read more articles and stuff like that. It’s a good thing.”
The German sports scene is dominated by soccer. Bayern Munich of the Bundesliga (German first division) has been one of Europe’s best soccer teams at the club level for many decades. Draisaitl would like hockey to one day approach that level of popularity in Germany.
“Soccer players get a lot of attention,” Draisaitl said. “There’s other sports, too, like handball is pretty big, and obviously basketball. Hopefully hockey can be that, too.”
Thumbnail photo via Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg
Powered by WordPress.com VIP