After helping the Dallas Stars to a 5-3 win over the Bruins with a hat trick, Stars forward Tyler Seguin was asked what’s changed most about him since his first two NHL seasons in Boston?
“Look at my beard!” he said laughing to the media.
That answer in itself may reflect the biggest change of all. When Seguin was traded to Dallas from Boston on July 4, 2013, his maturity and off-ice issues were cited by the Bruins and in the media as one of the reasons for the blockbuster move that also saw Rich Peverley, and Ryan Button go to the Stars for Loui Eriksson, Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith, and Matt Fraser. Until this season that maturity question has followed the budding superstar not only when he returned to TD Garden to face his former team but even back in Dallas and around the NHL. But at 23 years old, the 2010 second overall pick seems to finally be burying the off-ice questions as he continues to light up the league.
Seguin is riding a six-game point streak with ten points in those games and now sits atop the NHL in points with 20 and assists with 12. But the comfort level he showed with the aforementioned joke and ability to steer the questions away from any off-ice issues was a clear indication Seguin is maturing and has moved on from his time in Boston.
“I think it’s just about becoming a pro even more,” Seguin went on to say with regards to how he’s changed. “I’ve been asked to mature on the ice and mature as a leader. It’s a young team in here, and right when I stepped in I had the opportunity to be a leader and first line center, and I’ve tried to grasp that and run with it since day one.”
But while Seguin has done a solid job putting what some considered a checkered time in Boston and becoming that leader he was asked to become in Dallas, he was sure to credit his former teammates and repeatedly referenced Bruins alternate captain Patrice Bergeron.
“At ‘Marchy’s’ [Brad Marchand] wedding this summer, I talked to him a lot,” Seguin said of Bergeron. “He was actually asking a lot about faceoffs, and I like picking his brain about it because he’s one of the best in the league. Those guys are going to be my friends for lifetime. There’s still a group text message that happened a couple days ago from that year we won the Stanley Cup. I don’t know if it’s been talked about before, but all those guys, ‘Rex’ [Mark Recchi], ‘Rydes’ [Michael Ryder], everyone’s in it. So it’s cool to always have them.”
Seguin admitted to some reminiscing away from the rink Tuesday too.
“I mean even driving in on the bus, looking at certain things, and walking around Boston Common today in the park, a lot of stuff reminds you of flashbacks, memories and everything. I had a great time here,” Seguin said. “It’s funny, I’ve been here a few times since I got traded away, but it’s like I still play here. Especially on the streets, people are just friendly and I think the great thing about this city is, no one’s really talking bad, especially when I’m walking around. It’s always ‘Thank you for that Stanley Cup,’ and that makes this city really special.”
When Seguin was traded and numerous times after he didn’t hide how stunned and hurt he was to be dealt away from the team he won a Stanley Cup with his rookie season and almost another in his third season. But the pain seems to have finally subsided.
“Not anymore. Not to be in a rude way, but it’s just in the past now,” he said. “I’ve moved on and I’m loving living in Dallas, and I’m loving being a Dallas Star.”
The more he rips up the NHL though the more he leaves Bruins fans in tears and wondering what if?