Booing Tyler Seguin Was A Dumb Thing To Do

AP Photo

AP Photo

By: Mitch Cole (@DirtyWaterBuzz)

When Tyler Seguin was traded out of Boston, it was easy to notice the negativity that surrounded the young forward on his way out. His eyebrow raising off ice habits, most notably his fondness for the nightlife scene, led to a great deal of turmoil that came to a climax with the Bruins dealing the former second overall pick to the Dallas Stars.

But, when he returned to Boston with his new team for the first time since the Independence Day blockbuster, he wasn’t exactly welcomed by the Boston fans, who booed him incessantly from the time his name was announced in the Dallas starting lineup, through every shift he played, and even through his shootout chance in which he scored on goalie Tuukka Rask.

Those unfamiliar with the situation might ask “Why?”. Did Seguin sign in Dallas over Boston as a free agent? Did the young, budding superstar demand to be shipped out of Boston? Actually, none of the above. Seguin had no control over the offseason trade that saw him, Rich Peverley, and minor league defenseman Ryan Button sent to the Stars in exchange for Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser, and Joe Morrow.

Bruins management made the decision to trade the talented 22 year old. Not Seguin. But, on this November night, Seguin was the villain. The boos he received were on par with Matt Cooke since 2010, Jarome Iginla last April, and Phil Kessel.

“If I got a contract or a trade to come back here or asked, I don’t think I would come back,” Seguin said after the game reflecting on his reception. “I think in the end, you want to play where you’re wanted. I have great relationships with our coach and the GM here, and I know how much they want me. It feels good to play here. I guess that’s all I have to say on that.”

Tyler Seguin just wasn’t a “fit” in Boston. And believe it or not, that happens quite often in the NHL.

Maybe it was the defense first system that Claude Julien preaches. Maybe it was the fact that he enjoyed going out and partying a little bit too much (also known as being a 21 year old kid). No matter what the issue was, Seguin just wasn’t going to live up to his superstar potential in Boston. So, the Bruins decided to cut ties with a player who would never become the face of their franchise as they had originally hoped, and dealt him to Dallas, a place where he has a better chance to succeed, for a pretty good return.

Has Seguin been good in Dallas? Yes, he has. Actually, he’s been really good. He’s a better fit in Dallas than he was in Boston. But you know what? It’s irrelevant. It doesn’t matter. Some players just don’t fit with certain teams. Have you ever wondered why Dennis Seidenberg didn’t stick with any of his past teams? Before Boston, Seidenberg signed a series of short term deals with the Flyers, Coyotes, Hurricanes, and the Panthers. How come he never stuck anywhere before Boston?

Hockey fans, and even sports fans in general, have an obsession to dub one team the “winner” of a trade. It’s even worse in Boston, where many are still trying to proclaim which team won the Phil Kessel trade. Perhaps it’s because of the pain that stems from the infamous trading of Joe Thornton to San Jose for a lackluster return. But you know what? Both teams can benefit from a trade. While Loui Eriksson is just now starting to come around and adjust to the Bruins’ system after missing over a week with a concussion, he’s become an integral part of the Bruins’ second line, playing on Patrice Bergeron’s wing with Brad Marchand playing on the opposite wing. Reilly Smith won the vacant third line winger position in training camp, and has impressed Bruins’ coaches thus far. Matt Fraser and Joe Morrow, while playing in Providence for Boston’s AHL affiliate, both have the potential to become impact players for the Bruins. And on the flip side, Seguin and Peverley have both found comfort with their new team.

So why are we booing Seguin? One could make the argument that Seguin didn’t produce enough in the playoffs (the same argument could be made for a large portion of the Bruins’ roster from last season). You could make the argument that his off-ice habits and antics made it so he was unable to focus on the ice. Or maybe it’s because that many fans feel bitter and angry over what Seguin could have been. If you had watched Seguin in his return to Boston, you would have seen the same habits that he showed in Boston: unwilling to pay the physical price to make a play, shying away from contact, and getting rid of the puck almost immediately after receiving it. If Seguin were still here in Boston and playing that way, those same fans that booed Seguin would be cheering him on, and trying to rationalize and justify his play, thinking about the amount of goals he has the potential to score, and the Hart Trophy numbers he has the potential of putting up. Those same fans would be raising hell whenever Claude Julien stuck Seguin on the third line.

But, that’s not the case. Perhaps the trade forced Bruins fans to arrive at a conclusion that they had avoided for so long about Tyler Seguin, the hockey player.

Maybe this is why people say Boston is such a tough place to play.

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