When he skates out between the boards, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider can relate to what it feels like to be an attractive woman stepping out on the dance floor in a popular nightclub.
From every angle, it seems, guys are hitting on him.
Seider’s response to it all? Bring it on. Do your worst.
And should you hit him hard, as long as it’s fair, not to worry. You won’t have to fight Seider because of it.
“As long as it’s fair and square and right into my face I don’t have a problem with anyone playing hard,” Seider explained. “I think that’s the respect everyone is showing to the game.”
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It’s a refreshing approach to take in this day age, when every clean, hard bodycheck must be answered with immediate fisticuffs. It also speaks volumes to the maturity level of Seider, 21, the 2022-23 Calder Trophy winner as the NHL’s top rookie.
“For me I think it’s more the importance of you gotta weigh who you’re taking in the box with you,” Seider said. “If I’m out there playing against the third or fourth line, maybe it’s not the best choice to get tangled up and get into a little scrum and be out there for two minutes on the (penalty) bench and we might be down a goal or two.
“So you always gotta weigh up the importance of the situation. And I think that’s just what I’m trying to do.”
Unflappable Seider Impresses Veteran Teammates
It’s this ability to turn the other cheek for the greater good of the club that leaves his veteran Red Wings teammates in awe of the seemingly unflappable Seider.
“What I love most about his season was probably the numbers weren’t there but there even a look of frustration,” captain Dylan Larkin said. “He just did his job and defended and did what he had to do to help the team.
“I’m not sure how many blocks he had this year but it was a lot. He does the little things that you need to win.”
While Seider’s points did slip from 50 last season to 42 in 2002-23. his shot blocking was increasing from 161 as a rookie to 190 this season. That number was good for fifth overall in the NHL. And for the second consecutive season, the German defender was suiting up for all 82 games.
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“Just the skills that he has, everything he has is elite,” Detroit defenseman Olli Maatta said. “But also I think he’s a smart player. I think he’s positionally really good.
“He plays big minutes against other team’s first lines. You’ve got to be positionally really good to do that. You gotta think the game the right way and he does that. That allows him to play that many minutes.
“I think being able to play 82 games – he plays hard, too. Not getting hurt, taking care of your body, it’s impressive watching him.”
Hakuna Matata Is Seider’s Approach
The wall in Seider’s appartment are adorned with artwork of nature, photographs of elephants and a well-known message – hakuna matata.
That’s an apt descriptive of Seider’s approach, both to hockey and to life in general.
“Overall I think I’m in a really good place,” Seider said. “I made strides during the season. I think I’m a better defender now than I was last year. I’m doing a good job of trying to shut the best lines down on a daily basis. That’s all I’m trying to do.”
As Detroit moves closer toward being a playoff team again, Seider wants to be one of the players driving the bus, leading the charge. It’s what matters most to him.
“I want everybody to listen to me but I think you cannot just do that by opening up your mouth and speak,” Seider said. “You gotta lead by example and you gotta repeat it every single day and that’s what I’m trying to do.
“I want to be the hardest working guy out there. I want to be out there in important situations. Obviously it’s great when teammates recognize that. It gives you more trust to do even more.”