While the Stars prepare for training camp, we continue this series on the top scorers from last season, what they’ve been up to this summer, and what the immediate future might bring for them.
Today is the turn of Tyler Seguin, #2 scorer during the 2017-2018 regular season and, if we’re being honest, our #1 concern in the near future.
Tyler Seguin was drafted in 2010 by the Boston Bruins (1st round, 2nd pick), made his NHL debut on October 9, 2010, and became a Stanley Cup champion during his rookie season. Not bad at all.
And then it happened.
On July 4, 2013, in what many call “the dumbest trade in the last decade” (fans are passionate, as you can see) Seguin was sent to the Dallas Stars along with Rich Peverley and Ryan Button in exchange for Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser, and Joe Morrow. He went on to have his best season to date, with a total of 84 points (37 goals, 47 assists), and has since been one of the most consistent players in the team (along with Jamie Benn), despite some injuries along the way.
Seguin finished the 2017-2018 regular season with 78 points (40 goals, 38 assists), and a plus/minus of +12, having played in all 82 games. He also led the team in goals, ranking 7th in the league overall (sharing the spot with Anders Lee from the New York Islanders), and power play goals as well (14), ranking 6th in the league overall alongside Mika Zibanejad (NYR), Anders Lee, and Evgeni Malkin (PIT).
Under Ken Hitchcock’s coaching, Seguin’s offensive and defensive skills developed even further, and some of his stats saw some major improvements as well, such as his faceoff win percentage (54.9 compared to 51 during the 2016-2017 season) and blocked shots (44 this season, 26 the previous one). And, of course, the magic of the Benn-Seguin-Radulov line kept the team alive even at their darkest points.
Leaving all the golfing and traveling (and sometimes a combination of both) aside, Seguin has been enjoying the offseason by doing pretty much what we all expect from a hockey player: fishing, spending quality time with his family, and working out – hello, BioSteel camp!
He also got another tattoo. (Author’s Note: I liked a lot)
Other than that, all cool*
*not exactly, but we’ll get to that on the next jump.
I know we don’t want to talk about it, but we have to.
Seguin’s 6-year contract comes to an end next summer, meaning that he is onboard with the Stars for one more season. Now, there are two ways this can go, and they are being referred to as “the Steven Stamkos way” and “the John Tavares way” – in other words, “contract extension” or “free agency”.
Please, take a seat.
Last month, GM Jim Nill assured fans negotiations were moving along and we should not worry if he hasn’t signed by the start of the season, saying that the “biggest thing” is to have a good season and “get off to a good start”. That was until, speaking to the media at BioSteel Camp, Seguin himself said he is “disappointed” he hasn’t signed an extension yet, and reports stated negotiations have come to a halt.
Will he sign that extension before/during the first weeks of the season? Most likely not. Does this mean he will hit free agency next summer? Not exactly. As uncertain as this is, we should keep in mind that he has one more year left with the Stars, and he seems to be focused on taking the team to the playoffs (please, do it), so let’s choose “excitement for the new season” over “panic”.
There are a few factors that will most likely contribute to that extension we are all anxiously waiting for that don’t have to do with money, such as coaching. Both players and fans hope Jim Montgomery will bring out the best of the team and give them the guidance they need; if everything goes as we hope, it could be a strong reason for Seguin to stay in Dallas.
Whatever happens, we can expect him to keep proving he is an elite sniper and one of the top players of the league, scoring goals, winning faceoffs, working that 14-91-47 magic, and developing his defensive skills.
Photo: Dallas Stars/NHL