Sometimes, a little tough love is just what the doctor ordered when it comes to getting someone back in line. Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, who surely knows this fact because he is a father, decided to take a pretty intense tack with trying to straighten out Tyler Seguin after he went through a sophomore slump one year later than normal.
Namely, word got out before the 2013 NHL Draft that Seguin could very well be traded, perhaps for the Calgary Flames‘ top pick or some other packet of players and picks. This touched off a firestorm of panic, worry, confusion and other emotions among Bruins fans. However, it was all for naught: at the end of the night, no one on the Bruins had been traded at all. Seguin was safe, thanks in part to the fact that Nathan Horton intends to leave, but maybe he learned a lesson, right? Shape up or you will literally ship out of Boston.
Chiarelli said as much from the Bruins’ draft table.
“He’s 21 and I expect big things from him. I wasn’t satisfied with his year and he wasn’t either…he’s got to commit to being a professional and focusing on his game.”
Oh, it’s the Come to Jesus talk! Kind of like how Brad Marchand‘s dad gave him the “Son, calm it with the partying” talk after the Stanley Cup win. But Chiarelli is right and when he spoke those words about number 19, he spoke truth to what many Bs fans had been feeling throughout the shortened season.
Sure, Seguin tore it up in the Swiss league during the lockout, notching 40 points in 29 games and becoming EHC Biel‘s top scorer. When he got back into the show, he didn’t quite keep up that clip. But there’s one event in particular that I feel really sunk the rest of his season.
He wasn’t really the same after he used a rather ignorant phrase on Twitter to describe how he felt about hearing a song his friend wrote. I won’t repeat the phrase here. He tweeted the phrase on April 22, at which time he’d scored 16 goals and added 15 assists. Though the regular season was nearing its end anyway, he only put up one more helper in the four regular games after saying the thing (for which he did apologize). Then in the playoffs, he had only one goal and seven assists in 22 games. Compare that to the 2011 run, when he had three goals and four assists, but played just 13 games.
Rumor has it he also did some off-ice partying with old friends in Toronto during the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal and that could have affected his performance–he nabbed only one point in that series, an assist, and that was in Game 7 at home. Remember when he scored a hat trick in Air Canada Centre?
But Chiarelli’s very public calling-out is, to me, just what Seguin needs to see the light and act right. Sure, this season was half as long as normal, but his production did take a precipitous drop from last year and he can indeed do better. After all, Chiarelli picked him second overall not even that long ago and his performance last season showed the kind of player he can be.
Now it’s time to see how Seguin responds to this call-out. Will he clean up his off-ice act? Tighten up his on-ice game? He needs to do both, based on how snakebitten he was throughout the playoffs. Only time will tell.