Tonight, Tyler Seguin makes his return to my home arena - home of the Boston Bruins, TD Garden. This is his first official return to his former home, and it would not be untoward to call the media situation potentially volatile. How fitting for it to be the topic of my first contribution to Stars Insider.
Since the hour of Seguin's trade away from Boston, amid swirling rumors of his imminent departure, he has been criticized; his level of skill, as well as his maturity and morality, called into question. Upon the eve his return, the Boston media is still pulling no punches - it could even be perceived that they're taking shots at the Dallas organization as well:
Tyler Seguin's return is hot news, and on Monday, he participated in a press conference, a backdrop of Victory Green behind him as he faces Boston reporters for the first time since the 4th of July.
During the press conference (video above) Tyler is asked, "Do you feel like you can make mistakes, and things like that, more there than here, and grow as a player?" Seguin, tight lipped, considered his choices before offering a grim smile and a shrug, "Sure. I don't know."
Later in the interview, he comments with an easier smile, "You want to prove people wrong, prove some of you guys standing here wrong, as well. That's what you do every day. It's not gonna change any, or be any difference, cause you're playing against a certain team."
In this clip, put out by NESN (New England Sports Network), the voice over comments, "At the end of the day, it wasn't a fit in Boston; but his talent? It's undeniable." What follows is a brief montage of some of Seguin's successes in Boston, then the trade, and segues into his time as a Star, with media commentary inter-sped and voiced over. The obligatory voice over from Tyler accompanies another montage of his highlights, then cut to a close up of the former Bruin.
Not to be overlooked in the midst of this media circus, it is announced that Loui Eriksson might be making his return to the ice in time to face his former team - good news to all concerned.
Next is a two-part sit-down interview between Tyler, and Bruins play-by-play announcer, Jack Edwards. The lead-in to the interview reminds us that the Bruins have traded away all 3 of their top-5 draft picks (since 1987). At one point, Jack brings up the new Bruins TV show (aired on NESN), "Behind the B," asking if Tyler has seen any of the show. Tyler answers that he has heard about it, and Jack answers, quite honestly, "On it, some things were said about you that, if they were said about me, would hurt my feelings." I feel that might be a bit of an understatement.
Cut away to the segment in question, where Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli and team President Cam Neely are planning for the draft with other front office staff. Bruins assistant GM Jim Benning says candidly, "If we get guys we think we can win with, then it is what it is. We're winning every year, we're not... babysitting."
Tyler's reply can be summed up thusly, "I think sometimes I was being accused more than I was being helped." (You can view the episode here)
In Part 2, Jack asks, "Was there any warning? Was there any feeling of, I'm getting in trouble with this team?" Tyler's answer is a bit meandering, and appears to indicate he felt he responded appropriately to the warnings he received. Jack's next series of questions are verbalized with a playful tone; "Is there anything you might want to share, with Joe, or Phil**? Or anything they could share with you? Or anything you want to say to another top 5 draft pick, about the Bruins, and about Boston?"
"I don't know, get married when you're 18?" the 21-year-old laughs brightly, his signature toothy grin shining.
On a personal note, I am a fan of both the Stars and the Bruins. I've been a Stars fan since Kari Lehtonen was traded to Dallas from Atlanta. He is the real reason I've moved heaven and earth to ensure I would be able to go to tonight's game. I've not seen Kärppä play live in nearly 5 years. However, as a fan of both teams, Seguin's story is complicated and irresistible. I can't wait to see how the game unfolds.