BOSTON (CBS) — Tyler Seguin will skate on familiar ice at the TD Garden on Tuesday night, but he’ll be wearing a new jersey, sitting on a different bench and playing against the men he called teammates for his first three seasons in the NHL.
Now a member of the Dallas Stars, Seguin will play in Boston as a visitor for the first time, something he admits feels a bit strange.
“Yeah it’s a little weird, just pulling into the city,” Seguin said Monday after practice. “Definitely a little awkward, I guess you could say.”
Awkward, in part, because Seguin was supposed to be the future of the Boston Bruins franchise. He was drafted second overall in the 2010 draft and, after contributing to the Stanley Cup-winning team the following June, led the team in goals and points in the 2011-12 season. He was progressing toward stardom the way the Bruins had envisioned, but the front office grew concerned about the young player, both on and off the ice. Fearful that Seguin may not be able to live up to a six-year contract with a $5.75 cap hit per season, Peter Chiarelli dealt Seguin — along with Rich Peverley — to Dallas in July.
Despite the abrupt and unceremonious departure from the team that welcomed him to the NHL, Seguin said he holds many fond memories of his time with the Bruins.
“It’s a good feeling. There are so many great memories here,” Seguin said. “It’s a good feeling when I come here. I know I’m not a part of Boston anymore, but it’s always going to be a part of me and I’m still going to visit in the summers all the time. So it’s still nice to be here again.”
Seguin admitted to some decisions he “could’ve made differently,” but he stressed that none ever affected his play on the ice.
“In the end, people make mistakes. Everyone does,” Seguin said. “I don’t think I regret too much. I faced up to all the music already, and I’ve moved on. I’m very excited to be in Dallas.”
Brad Marchand, Seguin’s closest pal during his time in Boston, smiled when asked about facing his former linemate.
“It should be fun,” said Marchand. “He’s obviously a very big name in the city and he was loved by the fans, and he was a good personal friend to a lot of guys on this team, so it’ll be different seeing him on the other side.”
As for what Seguin expects in the game, he said he saw from experience that even though the Bruins may hold a former teammate in high regard, they won’t be very friendly once the puck is dropped.
“You kind of go out there and you know that that’s the enemy for a couple of hours, and you can be friends after,” Seguin said of the Bruins’ mentality when playing against former mates, citing games against Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart in Winnipeg as an example.
As for dealing with the ever-irritating Marchand as an opponent now?
“Yeah it’ll be weird. I saw [Marchand] yesterday and I’ll probably get dinner with him tonight,” Seguin said. “I’ll see how we’re going to go, if we’re going to be not talking at all out there, because I know he’s quite the chirper.”
Seguin, tied for 14th in the NHL with 15 points (David Krejci leads the Bruins with 13 points), has been doing well with Dallas so far this season. He said that when he takes the ice Tuesday night against Boston, he’ll be eager to prove people wrong — but that’s something he tries to do every night.
“I’m not going to sit here and say that when I go into play a game, even when it’s not against Boston, you want to prove people wrong, and prove some of you guys [in the media] standing here wrong as well,” Seguin said. “That’s what you do every day. It’s not going to change any different whether you’re playing against a certain team.”
It may not, but Tuesday’s game will be undeniably different for the forward who is still just 21 years old but already has such a thorough history with the Bruins organization.
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