Heading into Sunday’s 2013 National Hockey League Entry Draft the rumor mill was red-hot and Tyler Seguin’s name was floating around as numerous media outlets were reporting that the Bruins were shopping the 21-year old.
It’s been an up-and-down start to Seguin’s NHL career as the Brampton, Ontario Canada native has tallied 121 points—56 goals— in 203 career regular season games, but it’s the playoffs where the former number two overall pick has struggled.
Seguin has just 18 points—six goals—in 42 playoff games and is coming off a playoff run where he scored just once as the Bruins came within two wins of another Stanley Cup.
Last off-season Seguin signed a six-year extension worth $34.5 Million. With Seguin’s cap-hit just shy of six-million it should come to no surprise the Bruins were listening to offers for Seguin. But when restricted free agent to be, Nathan Horton notified the Bruins he would not be returning to Boston next season, the Bruins stopped taking calls on Seguin.
Now that the Bruins are holding onto Seguin, for now, General Manager Peter Chiarelli hopes these trade rumors motivate Seguin.
“I hope it does,” Chiarelli said. “If it doesn’t, I’d be more concerned. We gave Tyler a big contract because he projects and he had good performance. I would expect that going forward.”
Chiarelli would go on to say some interesting things about his young forward.
“He’s got to commit his mind and focus to the one task at hand; he’s got to become more of a professional. You know what? I can say that about a lot of 21-year-olds” added Chiarelli.
“I know he got criticized for playing on the periphery and all that stuff. He did. He’s got to commit to being a professional and focusing on the game. Simple as that. He does that, we don’t expect him to be crashing and banging. Just play your game.”
Seguin knows that he needs to be better and for Seguin that starts with getting his strength up and getting himself into better shape.
“Yeah, 100 percent. Getting stronger and I definitely want to work on my conditioning as well” said Seguin during last week’s breakup day. “I felt that as the later parts of the year went on and playoffs, I could have probably had even better conditioning, just not get tired or anything like that. I think every year you have something that you’re focusing on.”
The lack of offensive production this past season combined with these summer trade rumors will make next year a big year for Seguin as he tries to live up to the hype that comes with being a top-two pick.
“Yeah I think I still have a lot left in me for sure. I think in the end it’s just going to be on me and how much I want it” added Seguin. “When you go this far in playoffs and feel that feeling of losing it definitely makes you realize a bit more how hard it is to get there. My first year we went all the way and won, and that was awesome I felt so lucky. And the next year we lost out in the first round. And this year we went that far, and to lose it gives you so much more motivation. You just feel that drive inside of you.”
The Bruins hope these trade rumors push Seguin to be the player they know he can be. Only time will tell.