The Bruins had some fireworks of their own this weekend, moving Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley while adding Loui Eriksson, Jarome Iginla, and a few prospects. Here are some thoughts on what went down.
- What happened to Seguin? Simply put, it seems like the Bruins got tired of waiting for Tyler Seguin to grow up, both on and off the ice. On the ice, Seguin still hadn’t fully committed to playing the two-way game the Bruins wanted from him. Though he improved over last season, he still was hesitant to initiate or take body contact, and still shied away from the corners on occasion. Off the ice, Seguin had chugged his last Boston beer, in the eyes of the B’s brass. It seems like everyone of age in Boston has some Seguin party story, someone who knows someone’s cousin who partied with Seguin at a bar, or someone who got a picture of her friend with Seguin at a house party, etc. There’s nothing wrong with a 21-year-old millionaire enjoying himself; however, when it allegedly starts entering into “house arrest” territory (an inflammatory accusation that isn’t at all attributed to anyone, so I kind of can’t believe the Herald ran with it), there’s clearly a bigger issue. For those saying “whatever, he’s just a kid, all kids screw up and party too much,” proof that refutes that can be found in the other winger on Seguin’s line for most of the season. Brad Marchand was the most notorious partier in Boston in the summer of 2011, with his shirtless antics being broadcast all over the Internet. Notice how there hasn’t been much news about Marchand’s clubbing or red Solo cup-filled parties since then? Marchand grew up. To see the contrast, one needs to only look at this past week: Seguin got traded, then threw a party anyways (sure, it may have been scheduled in advance, but maybe don’t invite people who will plaster you all over Instagram), while Marchand supposedly spent the holiday in Bristol with his girlfriend. One player is still here, and one isn’t. One had his fun, got it, and grew up, while the other fist pumped his way to Texas. I think the B’s will miss Seguin’s talent, but if these are the stories that come to the surface, imagine how much may lurk behind the scenes. Cutting ties with Seguin before his big contract kicked in was probably the right move. It’s up to him to wise up, ditch the crew of hangers-on he surrounds himself with, and embrace his new opportunity in Dallas. For his sake, I hope he figures it out.
- Loui Loui! The acquisition of Loui Eriksson is pretty exciting for the B’s, as Eriksson had a reputation for being an underrated player who often flew under the radar because he played hockey in a football market. In fact, Eriksson was once voted the most underrated player in the league in a Sports Illustrated poll of his peers. If he continues to produce in a sports-crazed market like Boston, he won’t be under the radar much longer. Eriksson is a good two-way player, and will likely skate on the second line with Patrice Bergeron and Marchand. Since 2008-2009, Eriksson has put up totals of 63, 71, 73, 71, and 29 (lockout season) points, so he’s been pretty consistent for years now. If the B’s want to try to switch things up, they can try to skate him with fellow Swede Carl Soderberg and hope the Tre Kronor connection cashes in. But Eriksson is a fine talent and a very good player, something that makes parting with Seguin’s potential easier to swallow.
- A do-over for Jarome Jarome Iginla got his second chance this weekend, signing a one-year deal with the Bruins just months after spurning them for the Pens at the trade deadline and a few weeks after those same Penguins were swept by the Bruins. It was apparently Iginla who initiated the conversation, an interesting, pride-swallowing step considering what happened at the trade deadline. I wasn’t really thrilled with this signing, as giving Iginla $6 million didn’t seem to make much sense to me. If it was all about the cap, the Bruins traded a better player (Seguin) making less money ($5.75 million) to sign an older guy with a big name. I don’t think Iginla will be a bust in Boston, and I do think he’ll do well skating on a line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic. One can’t help but be concerned with his durability as he gets older, however, and if he’s a shell of his former self, that’s a big chunk of change to be giving him. However, I do think Iginla will fit in with the B’s just fine, and that the trade deadlines hard feelings will be forgotten by the fans the first time Iginla takes the ice in black and gold.
- Rich a victim of riches Rich Peverley was the other Bruins shipped to Dallas, and his departure is going a bit unnoticed, with Seguin getting most of the press. Peverley had a pretty down season (as did most of the third line), and ended up being a victim of his prior success: Peverley’s better Bruin days led to a big pay raise, which led to the team being unable to keep him due to cap constraints. Such is life in the salary cap NHL, and Peverley will be missed. He was a dependable two-way player, a guy who was good for a big goal every few weeks, and the best fist-pumper the Bruins had.
- Now what? I’d expect the Bruins to be done for a while now, standing pat aside from re-signing Tuukka Rask and extending Patrice Bergeron’s contract. Below is what the lineup projects to look like on opening night. Not too shabby.