BOSTON (CBS) – Happy Independence Day, Boston Bruins fans.
On this steamy July 4th in Boston, Peter Chiarelli gave Tyler Seguin his version of independence, sending the talented — but under-producing — forward to the Dallas Stars along with another recent under-producer, Rich Peverley, and minor league defenseman Ryan Button for forward Loui Eriksson and three prospects.
The 21-year-old Seguin was the second pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, and has 56 goals and 121 points in 203 career games. His best year was 2011-2012 when he scored 29 goals and totaled 67 points. This past season, Seguin scored 16 goals and 32 points in a lockout-shortened 48-game season.
But one of the giant problems with Seguin was he had only one goal in 22 Stanley Cup Playoff games in this summer, and ran into a lot of criticism from fans, media critics and — most importantly — his bosses.
Eriksson, who turns 28 on the in a few weeks, played in all 48 games this season, potting 12 goals and 29 points in 48 games for the Stars. He was an All-Star last year and is considered one of the top defensive wings in the NHL (how many of those does one team need?). The Bruins do need scoring up front, and Eriksson has netted 26 or more goals the last three campaigns.
My first impression of this deal is that both teams did OK. As with any trade, time will tell who made out better, but the Bruins had salary cap problems and new Dallas GM Jim Nill wanting to put his stamp on his new team. So the two sides decided to help each other out and make the deal.
However, the writing was on the wall for Seguin when this Bruins season ended on June 24. Aside from putting up just eight points during the playoffs, what was probably the biggest problem with Seguin was his maturity, or lack thereof.
During his tenure with the Bruins, there were countless reports of the forward staying out late. He was punished for missing a team meeting in 2011-12 thanks to an “alarm clock issue,” and more recently, stories of some long-nights of partying during Boston’s first round trip to Toronto — Seguin’s hometown — surfaced. This prompted the team to have a meeting about his commitment to the team, and fittingly, Seguin did not play well in that series.
At the NHL Draft last week, Chiarelli went as far as calling Seguin out in the media, saying the 21-year-old “needs to become more of a professional.”
Rumors were circulating at the Draft that Seguin would be traded to the Calgary Flames, but that deal never materialized.
The Bruins tight salary cap situation and Seguin’s partying no doubt led the team to keep pursuing deals for the young talent and that deal came to fruition on the Fourth of July. Now Boston send’s Seguin and his six-year extension, along with Peverley’s cap hit to Dallas — giving them a little more wiggle room this summer.
Now, we wait and see if it was the right deal, or if Boston gave up a little too soon on a 21-year old with a high ceiling, but questionable motivation.
Ric Duarte has covered hockey and the Bruins for various media outlets since 1986. You can follow Ric at BruinsDieHard.com and at twitter @bruins_diehard.