BOSTON (CBS) – Much has been made of Tyler Seguin’s off-ice lifestyle following his trade to the Dallas Stars on Thursday, but Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said that card is being overplayed, and wasn’t the reason they shipped him out of Boston.
“I think what’s important to remember about Tyler is that he came here with much pomp and circumstance and he played very well for a young player. This year wasn’t his best year, but it was a trying year and a weird year to assess players. Tyler’s a real good kid,” Chiarelli said on a conference call shortly after the Bruins and Stars agreed to a trade that sends Seguin, Rich Peverly and prospect Ryan Button to Dallas for forward Loui Eriksson and a trio of prospects.
“I know I see the Twitter-verse, whatever it’s called, and a lot of these reports about his extracurricular stuff, and I’ve made comments that due to his professionalism and acting more like a professional, but what has to be remembered in all this is that he’s 21-years-old. He’s a good kid and he’s a terrific player,” said Chiarelli.
Chiarelli was referring to comments he made at last week’s draft, saying Seguin needed to become more of a professional. But he didn’t want to talk about Seguin’s maturing process on Thursday.
“I don’t want to really play that up too much,” he said. “He’s a 21-year-old that played as an 18-year-old, and I think he was just a 21-year-old kid. He was maturing and growing up, and he liked to have fun like the rest of them. I don’t really think it was such a big deal. But when I said earlier about focus, just about little things, about preparing to play. It was nothing about extracurricular activities.”
“I told him, I said ‘Tyler you’re 21, you have a real good career ahead of you, this doesn’t mean that we don’t like you, I like you as a kid. These are business decisions and they have to happen fast,'” said Chiarelli.
In dealing Seguin and Peverly, the Bruins clear up some much-needed cap space going forward. Seguin was set to begin the six-year, $25.5 million extension he signed last September, and Peverly was on the books for nearly $7-million over the next two seasons. This move will give Chiarelli and the Bruins more options when NHL Free Agency begins Friday afternoon.
“What you have to understand in this environment right now is the cap goes down seven million and you have to make some hard choices, hard decisions. The fact that we signed Tyler had nothing to do with us trading him,” explained Chiarelli. “There’s an opportunity to get a very good player, who’s a natural winger, and to get some good prospects and to lower your cap and then maybe to improve in the next market starting (Friday).”
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“You know what you have to manage your team, you have to manage your players, you have to manage your cap, and that was part of the reason why we made this move.”
Seguin will move back to his natural center position in Dallas — a position Chiarelli said is better suited for the 21-year-old.