Player we love: Tyler Seguin
While it's hard to argue the return of Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser and Joseph Morrow wasn't a great get by Peter Chiarelli, it's also undeniable that Tyler Seguin has some ridiculous talent. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 NHL entry draft had a career year in almost every category during his first season with the Dallas Stars. Career high in goals. Career high in assists. Career high in points-per-game, goals created, and shooting percentage. Not to mention a career low in PIM-per-game, and on average four minutes more TOI than his career in Boston.
The kid was a stud in 2013-14, finishing 6th in Hart Trophy voting, and helping the Stars get back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2008. Even in Boston it was evident that he was dangerous with the puck. People held their breath every time he was out on the ice. His speed and shot became a deadly combination. Too often, both were wasted when he rifled slap shots from the half-wall directly into the goalie's crest. But there were moments. Moments when he got in and split two defenders, or dazzled with quick dekes and lightning-fast releases in the shootout. Speaking of, I'm just gonna leave this right here...
Sadly, one of the recurring shortcomings of Seguin showed up again, as he only managed 3 points in 6 games against the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference Quarterfinals, with just one assist in the final 3 games of the series. In 48 career playoff games, Tyler has only 7 goals and a total of 21 points, his highest point-per-game average still coming in his rookie year with the Bruins (Note: Four of his 7 points that postseason came in one game, so it's not a great comparison). But for now, Scott Bradley's infamous line--"If [Seguin] gives us half of [Patrick] Kane, we win a Stanley Cup."--rings true.
Still, Seguin is only 22 years old. He's clearly flourished in the Stars system alongside Jamie Benn, and with the team only having one skater over the $6 million mark, Jim Gill has an ample amount of cap space to make even more additions to an exciting, offensively-charged team. Let's just hope they don't make any stupid moves, like sucking up to their highest-paid and newest addition, because...
One year after having the captaincy fall into his lap by default, Jason Spezza shot his way out of town before the final year of his 7-year, $49 million contract. There was little chance anyone could've filled Daniel Alfredsson's shoes after departing to Detroit, but Spezza didn't even come close. His lack of heart and leadership was evident on the ice, in the locker room, and to the fans. Spezza "Kovalchuk'd" much of the season--skill carried his play, but effort was widely missing. And he gave up playing any lick of defense, finishing a career-low -26 plus/minus.
His best years as a pro came between '05-'06 and '07-'08, before getting his current contract. After his contract was signed, he's been a solid player, but hasn't lived up to the more than point-per-game player he was during his earlier years. The 2nd overall pick of the 2001 NHL entry draft, Spezza was lauded and fawned over too much, too early, and it's amazing that he hadn't driven himself out of the organization years ago.
Spezza was Ottawa's Joe Thornton.
Except Thornton was, and still is, better.
Captain Jason could be this year's Seguin. A new town and a green sweater resulting in elite play. A star whose talent can shine in a new system. A veteran leader who can help along the development of the younger Seguin and Benn. But more likely, he'll be this year's Rick Nash. A guy who hated where he was, couldn't handle being the best player on his team, and ran his way out of town so he could phone it in for a team with less expectations.
Congrats on the new gig, Spetz. I'll miss having your career -8 against the Bruins within the Division.
Now, for old time's sake, here he is getting caught in total douchery.