Maybe Tyler Seguin will pull on his fresh, new Dallas Stars sweater and be, well, a star. Perhaps he’ll string together a decade of 30-goal seasons, with an occasional 40-goal campaign weaved into the mix. And if he can score 40, he can score 50, right?
Bet on it, Bruins fans. Bet on Tyler Seguin. You know he can do it. The Stars know he can do it. And surely Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli, who engineered the Fourth of July megadeal that sent Seguin, Rich Peverley and prospect Ryan Button to the Stars, knows it as well as anybody.
But are we all agreed that it just wasn’t going to work in Boston for Tyler Seguin?
Seguin was — and for the time being still is — one of those infuriating sports teases, the kind of athlete who at any given moment is capable of graceful, eye-popping athleticism. We’ve seen him move to the net with such precision that it looked as though he were skating through opposing skaters, in much the same way we’ve seen the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo glide through the paint and roll in a layup without so much as grazing any of the goliaths in his path.
It’s just that with Seguin, you never knew when the brilliance was going to arrive. And when it did show up, it didn’t stay long. The word, always, is that Seguin is immature, and too busy doing whatever he does off the ice to be a complete, take-charger performer when on the ice.
Whatever. Seguin is 21 years old, and 21-year-olds generally don’t stay home at night to read the classics, sort the socks or stir the pasta.
Yes, 21-year-olds, be they hugely talented hockey players or marginally talented intramural softball players, like to go out at night. It’s just that the record books in all pro sports are filled with the exploits of stellar athletes who managed to burn opposing defenses while also burning the candle at both ends.
It’s also true that there are many, many star athletes who reached the heights because dedication to the craft outweighed all else. And Seguin, during his time in Boston, was never one of those players.
As such, the Bruins declared Thursday to be their Independence Day from Tyler Seguin, choosing to pass him off on the Stars in exchange for 27-year-old left winger Loui Eriksson, who can score, as well as 23-year-old left winger Matt Fraser, 23-year-old right winger Reilly Smith and 20-year-old Joe Morrow, the latter pegged as a top defensive prospect.
Considering the depth with which Chiarelli publicly criticized Seguin following the Bruins’ Game 6 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals, the real surprise is that the B’s received anything more than a bag of pucks in this deal. When the GM says it’s time for a player “to become more professional,” it’s an announcement that the guy isn’t going to be on the cover of next year’s media guide.
Seguin’s lack of … of something, and you can call it professionalism or good luck or good health, was never more evident than during the playoffs. In 22 playoff games, he scored one goal and tallied seven assists. Yes, there were flashes of brilliance, but that’s always been the problem, hasn’t it?
Just last week, when Chiarelli called Seguin out, it was thought that it might be a wake-up call. The problem is that Seguin has already missed wake-up calls — literally as well as figuratively. And if you’re a fan who has invested your time, your passion and your hard-earned entertainment dollars on the Bruins, it all gets a little tired after a while.
It should not go unnoticed that the Bruins earned the right to draft Seguin a few years back when they traded another talented player, Phil Kessel, to Toronto. Kessel, who scored 36 goals his last season in Boston, has continued to be a 30-goal scorer with the Maple Leafs.
So now we sit back and wait — and watch — to see if Seguin can be a great player.
But as we close the book on the kid’s Boston years, Tyler Seguin was a great waste of talent.