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BOSTON (CBS) — The Bruins’ pre-lockout spending bonanza officially continued Tuesday with the announcement of a new six-year extension for forward Tyler Seguin, who’s entering just his third NHL season.
The new deal had been anticipated for a couple of weeks because the current collective bargaining agreement is ready to expire Sept. 15 and there’s widespread belief that any new CBA could include limits on the length of contracts as well as financial limitations that might make it difficult for teams like the Bruins to lock up talents like Seguin and make both sides happy.
Just last week, the Bruins re-upped with Seguin’s linemate and partying partner Brad Marchand on a lockout-beating contract extension. Like his brother in shirtless shimmying, Seguin, who will make an average of $5.75 million a season on his new deal, now has to make sure he’s not the one player teams rushed to retain for the better part of this decade that comes up short in his attempt to achieve superstardom.
After he was picked No. 2 overall in 2010, then became a playoff healthy scratch during the Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup run, and then was given a top-six role on the 2011-12 squad – except for one missed alarm clock in Winnipeg – Seguin has managed to avoid the demons of complacency. So once Seguin’s entry-level contract expires and he begins life on an extension that will allow him to pick up several GDP-sized tabs at Foxwoods, Seguin doesn’t figure to have any mental obstacles to avoid in his attempt to make the Bruins’ money into cash well spent.
“I think that as is, I have a high expectation of myself,” Seguin said. “I like to say I adapt to new situations well and I’m a confident player and I think that I have a lot more improvement to still come. And I feel like I have a lot more respect I still need to earn from players and also management. And I think that’s going to keep me motivated to keep going.”
It’s worth noting, as general manager Peter Chiarelli did during a conference call to announce Seguin’s deal, that the structure of the contract keeps Seguin from being the highest-paid forward for a couple of seasons (barring a trade of David Krejci and/or the addition or subtraction of other players). Chiarelli mentioned that Seguin was flexible in this regard. While I never want to laud an athlete as some sort of altruist when said player is guaranteed to take home more than $30 million regardless of how it’s allocated, it’s a positive sign that he both gave the Bruins some cash flexibility for the first couple of seasons of the deal and didn’t want to show up some of his longer-tenured teammates.
Seguin, whose competitive nature has to make him still burn deep inside because he wasn’t picked No. 1 and didn’t play a bigger role in his rookie season (even if he never expresses such frustration) just might be maturing on the right pace that the Bruins need.