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NHL Trade Rumors: Bruins Must Find Way to Keep Tyler Seguin

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 19: Tyler Seguin #19 of the Boston Bruins controls the puck against the Chicago Blackhawks  in Game Four of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on June 19, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Blackhawks won 6-5 in overtime. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Richard LangfordCorrespondent IDecember 24, 2016

Locked up against the salary cap and facing some big decisions, reports indicate the Boston Bruins are going to send Tyler Seguin and his salary to another franchise. This is a giant mistake.

Seguin is pricey. He will will make roughly $5.75 million per season through the 2018-19 season. 

Meanwhile, the Bruins have to free some cash for Tuukka Rask, who is currently a restricted free agent. 

Hence all the chatter about Seguin being traded. Adam Gretz of CBS Sports set the stage:

Seguin just signed a long-term extension with the Bruins prior to the lockout that has him under contract through the end of the 2018-19 season at more than $5.75 million per year. The Bruins, however, are tight against the salary cap and need to work out a long-term contract extension for starting goalie Tuukka Rask, who is currently a restricted free agent.

In light of this, Bob McKenzie of TSN's tweet is not all that shocking:

This isn't all about money, though. The 21-year-old was the recent recipient of some harsh words from Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli. Here is Chiarelli on the former sixth overall selection with the quote coming via Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe:

He’s got to commit his mind and focus to the one task at hand. He’s got to become more of a professional. You know what? I can say that about a lot of 21-year-olds. I know he got criticized for playing on the periphery and all that stuff. He did. He’s got to commit to being a professional and focusing on the game. Simple as that. He does that, we don’t expect him to be crashing and banging. Just play your game.

Seguin has been a productive offensive player, but his numbers dipped this past season, and he disappeared in the postseason. Seguin tallied just eight points in the 2013 playoffs. This certainly isn't the kind of production the Bruins were hoping for. 

But is all of this reason enough to give up on Seguin? 

The possibility exists that the Bruins are leaking this information along with the above criticism to help motivate Seguin. While they run the risk of alienating their young star, I cannot criticize them for that strategy. 

However, trading him just to dump his contract is another story. At 21, Seguin is supposed to be inconsistent. He is supposed to struggle in the heightened intensity of the playoffs. 

In his three seasons with the Bruins, Seguin has racked up 121 points with a plus/minus of plus-53.

It is far too early to give up on this kind of talent. Seguin has a long and productive career ahead of him, and the Bruins need to find a way to keep him. 

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