Will Peter Chiarelli's Tough Love Lead to Tyler Seguin's Breakout Season?
The Boston Bruins aren't wasting time on what might have been.
There's no sense of self-pity coming from Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli. If he was feeling any regret over the Bruins' loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final, he's keeping it to himself.
He's also preparing for the 2013-14 season. During the draft Sunday, the Bruins didn't have a pick until the second round. But while he was waiting to make Boston's selection, he called out Tyler Seguin for his lack of production in the postseason.
From the tone of Chiarelli's remarks, Seguin's one-goal performance may have been the result of a lack of concentration on the task at hand.
Chiarelli made his remarks to the team's beat reporters, and this quote was extracted from Fluto Shinzawa's Bruins Blog in 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.
Chiarelli understands that Seguin is not going to be fully mature at the age of 21. However, he needs to see more commitment and production from the No. 2 pick in the 2010 draft.
When Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks was 21, he scored 30 goals in the regular season and added 10 goals and 18 assists in the playoffs. He also scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal in Game 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Kane, like Seguin, was drafted as an extremely gifted player. He was the No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft, and he never had to play minor league hockey. Despite the many distractions that Kane has had off the ice, he has never scored fewer than 21 goals in any season. He had 23 goals in this lockout-shortened season.
Seguin does not have the same kind of resume. He had a 29-goal season in 2011-12, but he had just 11 in his rookie season and 16 this year. But it was in the playoffs where Seguin could not get untracked.
The best moments of his career came in his first two playoff games as a rookie in 2011 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He scored three goals and two assists to spark the Bruins after an injury to Patrice Bergeron gave Seguin the chance to play.
Since those first two postseason games, Seguin has scored 13 points in 40 playoff games.
No wonder Chiarelli is steaming. He not only selected Seguin in 2010, he gave him a contract extension that will pay him an average of $5.75 million in each of the next six seasons.
Chiarelli did not give Seguin the extension so he could feel good about himself. He gave him the money so he could produce and help deliver championships to the Bruins.
Seguin went along for the ride this spring and early summer. He had numerous chances to score as he took 70 shots in the Bruins' 22 playoff games. He beat Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers once, and that was it.
Will Tyler Seguin bounce back from his poor playoff performance?
Seguin had numerous chances to beat Corey Crawford of the Blackhawks throughout the Stanley Cup Final. His last chance came late in the third period of Game 6. Brad Marchand gave him a pass as he was on Crawford's glove side. As happened so many times, Seguin's shot hit the post.
A goal would have given the Bruins a two-goal lead, and would have almost certainly assured them of a chance to play a seventh game. Instead, the Blackhawks bounced back and created their own miracle that allowed them to hoist the Stanley Cup in Boston.
That fact is gnawing at Chiarelli and the Bruins. Chiarelli took calls from other NHL general managers who were interested in acquiring Seguin's services. If Nathan Horton hadn't informed Chiarelli that he was not coming back to the Bruins in 2013-14, he might have been inclined to move Seguin.
The failure of the 2013 postseason needs to be burned inside Seguin's memory. It looks like he will get one more chance to prove himself in a Boston uniform.
He is a sharp and talented performer. He won't forget his nightmare in the 2013 playoffs, and he will have a breakout season in 2013-14.
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