Tyler Seguin made more news off the ice than he did on it during this year’s playoffs with the Boston Bruins.
Every other day it felt like there was a new headline ranging from pictures of outrageous parties to anti-gay tweets that caused him to delete his twitter account. It was even rumored that Boston had to employ extra security outside of his room to make sure the 21-year-old would stay in his room at night.
No, I’m not making this up.
Following the Stanley Cup final, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli had some harsh words regarding Seguin:
“He’s got to commit his mind and focus to the one task at hand,” Chiarelli said. “He’s got to become more of a professional. You know what? I can say that about a lot of 21-year-olds. I know he got criticized for playing on the periphery and all that stuff. He did. He’s got to commit to being a professional and focusing on the game. Simple as that. He does that, we don’t expect him to be crashing and banging. Just play your game.”
The 2013 Eastern Conference Champions soon decided that they were not going to “babysit” Seguin. They were sick of his immature behavior and decided to make a change.
That change came earlier this offseason, when the second overall pick in the 2010 draft was dealt to the Dallas Stars in a seven-player blockbuster deal that also sent Loui Eriksson to Bean Town.
A change of scenery couldn’t have come faster for Tyler Seguin, someone who is in a desperate need of a fresh start. The Dallas Stars were willing to give him a chance, even with all of the drama associated with Seguin. After all, he did have 36 points in 48 games last season following a 67 point outburst in 2011-2012.
Love him or hate him Seguin puts up big numbers, especially for someone his age.
That attracted newly appointed Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill. After trading for Seguin, Nill had this to say about his new superstar in an interview with the Dallas Morning News in July:
“I watched Tyler when he was in Plymouth. I lived in Detroit there as you know and I’ve seen him grow up as a junior and turn into a great pro. We’re very fortunate he played with the Boston Bruins. They do things right. I know he’s had great coaching and great fundamentals and he’s built a great foundation there. So we’re very fortunate that way. We just look forward to him taking a leadership role down here in Dallas. He’s going to be growing up with the Jamie Benns and these guys. We’ve got a core group of players now that are all under the age of 25 and 26 and younger and I think it’s going to be great for him to kind of grow in with the rest of these players and help create a great environment down here for us.”
It doesn’t seem like the Dallas Stars management is too worried about Seguin’s antics and they shouldn’t be. As long as Seguin delivers on the ice, it shouldn’t matter.
A guy by the name of Patrick Kane had the same problem early in his career. After Kane and his cousin allegedly punched a cab driver in Buffalo back in 2009, everyone around the league was focusing on his off-ice behavior.
A Conn Smythe trophy and two Stanley Cups later, Kane is now the face of USA hockey. If Seguin is able to clean up his act and excel on the ice his past will soon be forgotten, similar to Kane’s.
But will he become the elite player Dallas needs to get to the next level? He certainly has the potential to.
Seguin is a playmaker with great passing ability but can also bury the puck in the back of the net. Expect him to continue to produce with the two wingers that he will most likely be paired with this season with the Stars.
Jamie Benn and Seguin’s teammate from Boston Rich Peverley (also acquired in the deal that brought Seguin to Dallas) will help the youngster succeed in a tough Western Conference.
Dallas Stars fans have a lot to be excited about: a new logo, new jerseys, and a new top line. Don’t forget a new coach in Lindy Ruff who is very satisfied to have Seguin address their need at center.
Tyler Seguin should continue to put up points this year with his new team just like he did in Boston. He has a lot of talent built around him and this will only help Seguin further evolve into the all-star we all expect him to be.
Hopefully he matures significantly off the ice and limits the distractions in order to remain a threat to opposing defenses all over the league.
The sky is the limit for 21-year-old Tyler Seguin, but it is up to him to truly take advantage of the opportunity he has in Dallas.
Thanks for reading, and feel free to follow me on twitter @CMS_74_. Give the rest of the hockey department a follow while you’re at it – @LastWordBigMick, @TheHockeyMitch, @ddmatthews, @CanuckPuckHead, @lastwordBKerr, and @LastWordOnNHL, and follow the site @lastwordonsport.
Interested in writing for LastWordOnSports? If so, check out our “Join Our Team” page to find out how.
Main photo credit: bridgetds via photopin cc