The Dallas Stars made one of the biggest moves of the offseason, and in doing so, acquired one of the more polarizing players in the league in Tyler Seguin. He’s become one of the most widely criticized athletes on the planet, thanks to his lifestyle off the ice. But is it warranted?
Despite his massive potential, Seguin has drawn criticism for his partying ways and controversial statements on Twitter, almost all of which are followed by some sort of “hacking” excuse. Perhaps the folks criticizing him are simply fearful of him not reaching the potential that he has as a centerman in this league.
He’s far from the only athlete to have these types of issues. Plenty of players his age, including one in particular who is a member of the team that beat Seguin in the postseason, have had similar issues. He’s a 21-year-old millionaire. Are we really surprised that he likes to enjoy himself away from the ice?
The Boston media jumped all over it when Seguin was traded, going the classless route in choosing to recall several instances of Seguin and his rather ‘loose’ lifestyle away from the rink, simply to tarnish his image a little more. Many have pointed to this lifestyle as the reason that Seguin ended up traded this summer.
We’ve seen a similar situation in Chicago with Patrick Kane. A former top pick, Kane has had his issues with alcohol off the ice, though he doesn’t have the same issues using social networks that Seguin does. Still, he’s been a headline on Deadspin several times over the course of his career, with a new maturity finally coming out for him in 2013.
Of course, that maturity didn’t hit until he was about 24. That’s still very young. But he came out with a mature attitude, worked harder at both ends of the ice than we had ever seen, and helped lead the Hawks to a Stanley Cup title, while taking home the Conn Smythe. With such accolades, that off-ice lifestyle is still acknowledged, but not frowned upon. It’s almost an afterthought.
Perhaps that’s what Seguin will have to do to shake off the type of criticism he’s receiving. In Dallas, he’ll have an opportunity to realize his potential, as a top center, rather than being buried in the lineup on a wing. He has a chance to grow and realize that massive potential. And when that happens, we won’t be talking about the party he attended at Harvard last weekend, or the foolish statement he, or one of his friends, made on Twitter.
It’s hard to criticize Seguin. Again, he’s a 21-year-old celebrity with a ton of money to play around with. This behavior isn’t out of the ordinary for someone in such a situation. I look forward to the day that Seguin realizes that potential, so we can stop talking about his lifestyle, and focus on what an incredible talent he actually is.