|Pierre McGuire on M&M: ‘Pretty rough’ reception expected for Tyler Seguin in Boston||11.05.13 at 2:47 pm ET|
NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Tuesday afternoon to discuss Tyler Seguin‘s return to Boston on Tuesday night with the Stars and the the Bruins’ start to the season.
The Bruins’ tilt with Dallas will be the first time that Seguin will have the opportunity to play against his former team after being traded on July 4 in a deal that sent Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser and Joe Morrow to Boston and Seguin, Rich Peverley and Ryan Button to Texas.
After a three-season tenure with the Bruins in which Seguin, the second overall pick in the 2010 draft, excited fans with his potential but also disappointed with issues regarding his maturity, many are wondering what kind of reception the 21-year-old center will receive from the TD Garden crowd.
“[The fans will be] probably pretty rough on [Seguin],” McGuire said. “I don’t think as rough on Rich Peverley, obviously. But the Bruins fans need to know that was a pretty good acquisition for both teams. At the end of the day, I know Loui Eriksson is an injured player right now, but he’s going to be a very important part of the Bruins’ future, and Reilly Smith has been tremendous for the Bruins since coming over, so I think it will be a rough ride for Tyler tonight.
“But I hope Bruins fans remember that magical run in 2011, because it was something special and he was a big part of it.”
Seguin has adjusted well to his new team in Dallas, as he has recorded six goals and nine assists in just 14 games. The Ontario native is on pace to have an 88-point season, 21 points more than his career high (67 in 2011-12).
“[Seguin’s reception in Dallas has been] very strong, very good, very positive. I think sometimes young players … need to be scared straight, and one of the ways of scaring them straight is by trading them earlier in their careers,” McGuire said. “Chris Pronger is exhibit A. He went from being a decent player who should’ve been a superstar to being the MVP of the league after he got traded out of Hartford/Carolina to St. Louis, and he needed that. He needed to get his attention that it wasn’t going to be easy.
“I think the same thing is going to happen with Tyler Seguin. There’s a guy running the Boston Bruins right now, Cam Neely, he didn’t do much when he was a member of the Vancouver Canucks, but when he got traded to the Boston Bruins, he became a cult icon. So sometimes young players just need a little wakeup call, and I think maybe this was a wakeup call that Tyler Seguin needed.”
|Rich Peverley reflects on a strange few months, says he’s ‘really proud’ of Tyler Seguin||11.04.13 at 5:36 pm ET|
Rich Peverley knew at the start of the offseason that he wasn’t going to be back in Boston.
He had two years remaining on a three-year, $9.75 million deal he had signed the previous season, but Peter Chiarelli informed him at the exit meetings that the B’s were going to have to trade him to free up cap space.
Now Peverley finds himself in Dallas, having been shipped with Tyler Seguin to the Stars in the July 4 blockbuster.
“No hard feelings,” Peverley said. “It’s a business. You wish them the best, but now I’m focused on being in Dallas.”
Peverley admits that the time between breakup day and the trade was strange. He knew he wasn’t going to be with the Bruins, but he wasn’t a free agent and he didn’t know where he was going. It was strange.
“It definitely was,” he said. “I knew it was coming, but it is what it is. I just kind of got away a little bit. It was a long season, having the lockout and going to Europe and coming back and [playing] all the way to July, it was a long season. I was just trying to clear my mind, but having that in the back of your mind, not knowing where you were going to go was a little bit stressful.”
The veteran forward says he doesn’t regret signing his deal with the Bruins. It was inked the season after he was traded to the Bruins and had won the Cup, so he wanted to stay. The fact that he was moved doesn’t mean he regrets trying to stay as long as he could.
“I don’t have regrets at all,” he said. “I thought I’d be here for those three years, but things change quickly. I don’t know if I would have gotten traded if the salary cap hadn’t gone down, but things happen and you have no control over it. That’s why there are trades in the NHL.”
That brief time between the end of the season and the trade wasn’t the only strange thing Peverley’s encountered the last few months. He missed all of training camp and the first game of the season due to an irregular heartbeat that required a procedure to correct it, and in 13 games he has two goals and five assists for seven points and a plus-3 rating.
Of course, Peverley wasn’t the biggest name that went to Dallas in that trade, and his exit from Boston was certainly less noteworthy than Seguin’s.
Seguin was shipped amidst character concerns after a postseason in which he underperformed on the ice and had a little too much fun off the ice, but Peverley sees a change in Seguin’s attitude and dedication. He would know better than anybody the difference between what Seguin was like in Boston vs. what he’s like in Dallas.
“I’ve been really proud of him, to be honest,” Peverley said. “He’s kind of put it in the back of his mind, and he’s being really professional about it.”
Tyler Seguin is back in town, and on Monday he met with the Boston media for the first time since being traded to the Stars on July 4.
As Peter Chiarelli said, the former second overall pick was traded for a number of reasons, some of which were beyond Seguin’s control. As for the things that Seguin could control, the 21-year-old admitted that he might still be here had he done some things differently, but ultimately he didn’t seem overly remorseful over how things ended.
“I think there were obviously some decisions that I could have made differently, but in the end, people make mistakes,” Seguin said. “Everyone does. I don’t think I regret too much. I’ve faced up to all the music already and I’ve moved on here. I’m very excited to be in Dallas.”
Added Seguin: “Any decisions I made never really affected my job when I came to the rink or ever affected my work ethic.”
Cap reasons and his willingness to compete were two big reasons as to why the B’s moved on from Seguin, but there were also off-ice concerns with Seguin. Most notably, the team needed to hire a security guard to make sure he didn’t sneak out of the team hotel the nights before home games in the playoffs.
Seguin liked it in Boston. He was the best of friends with Brad Marchand, was on a team that regularly contended for the Stanley Cup and was a fan favorite. Asked if he feels a day will come when he regrets the way things played out in the end, Seguin said he wouldn’t take anything back.
“‘Regret’ is not a word I’m using,” he said. “When I look back, I guess you could [say] there was a process, and here we are.”
Overall, Seguin spoke fondly of his time in Boston. He admitted that he has no idea what kind of reception he’ll get from the Garden fans Tuesday, but he enjoyed his time calling it home.
“There’s so many great memories here,” he said. “Obviously my first year, being lucky enough to win a Stanley Cup, and my second year, going to my first All-Star game and leading the team in points, and then last year going to the Cup finals again, there’s some tremendous memories here. It’s a good feeling when I come here. I know I’m not a part of Boston anymore, but it’s always going to be a part of me. I’m still going to visit in the summers all the time, so it’s nice to be here again.”
|Michael Ryder explains why he didn’t take Bruins’ offer in free agency||10.26.13 at 1:01 pm ET|
The Bruins’ big splash on the first day of free agency was Jarome Iginla, but that came after a player they had targeted signed with the Devils. That player was former Canadien, Bruin, Star and Canadien (again) Michael Ryder, whose decision reportedly came down to offers from the Bruins and Devils.
“We had a couple conversations back and forth with my agent, but I decided to end up coming to Jersey,” Ryder, who is in town with his new team, said Saturday. “It just seemed like a good fit for me. Lou [Lamoriello] and them were really excited and told me the opportunity I’d get here. I just thought it was the best fit.”
That isn’t the only reason. Ryder, who spent three seasons with the Bruins from 2008-2011 and was third on the B’s with eight playoff goals during their 2011 Stanley Cup run, wasn’t thrilled with the way things ended between he and the Bruins.
After the B’s won the Stanley Cup, Ryder was interested in returning, but was told by the B’s to test free agency and see what he could get. He did just that and took a two-year, $7 million deal with the Stars.
‘I think if they wanted to keep me, they probably would have tried to sign me [after the 2010-11 season],’ Ryder said last season when he was in town with the Habs.
The 33-year-old forward reiterated that Saturday, saying that the Bruins had the chance to sign him years ago and didn’t.
“Once I left here, after we won the Cup, I thought I might have a shot of coming back then, but it didn’t really happen,” he said. “We didn’t really talk.”
As such, Ryder said he was “definitely” surprised to hear from the Bruins this summer. He didn’t say he was less inclined to sign with the Bruins because of how things had ended after 2010-11, but he did say that he had put the B’s in his past.
“You move on, and it’s part of the business,” he said. “That’s just the way it is. I ended up in Dallas, which was great, and then last year I ended up getting traded back to Montreal. This year, I’m here in Jersey. It’s part of the game, and the way the hockey world works I guess.”
Another interesting fact about Michael Ryder and the Bruins? He was a linemate of both Tyler Seguin and Loui Eriksson, who were traded for one another this summer. Ryder assisted Seguin’s first NHL goal and was his linemate for much of Seguin’s rookie season before teaming up with Eriksson and the Stars.
Ryder said he was surprised to see the Bruins move on from Seguin after three seasons with the team, acknowledging, as many have, that Seguin and the B’s may not have been the best fit for one another.
“He was their first pick, and it’s always surprising to see someone go,” Ryder said. “Tyler’s still a young kid and [with the fit] here, I guess they decided that it was time to move on. I played with Loui also in Dallas. The two of those are great players, and maybe it’s good for Tyler to get a good start somewhere. He’s doing well so far and he’s going to do well. He’s that type of player.
“He’s got a lot of speed and can shoot the puck and stuff,” Ryder added of Seguin. “He’s going to be a star in this league, and it’s just about when he got the opportunity. I guess they thought it wasn’t a good fit for him here. Hopefully in Dallas it works out for him.”
|Pierre McGuire on M&M: B’s-Stars trade ‘weighted a little bit towards Boston’||10.10.13 at 3:43 pm ET|
With the 2013-14 NHL season in its second week, NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Thursday afternoon to discuss the Bruins’ new additions, as well as other news from around the NHL.
McGuire praised the Bruins’ two biggest offseason additions, wingers Jarome Iginla and Loui Eriksson, and indicated he thought the Bruins won the July 4 trade with the Stars that sent shipped budding star Tyler Seguin to Dallas.
“[Jarome will fit] fantastically well,” McGuire said. “Jarome is awesome, he will fit in perfectly in Boston, I’m really happy for him. Didn’t work out for him the way he wanted to last year [in Pittsburgh], but I’m glad that Boston, especially Cam [Neely] and Peter [Chiarelli], were wise enough to give him a chance, because he definitely fills the void that Nathan Horton created by departing to go to Columbus.
“Courageous trade by Peter Chiarelli and the Boston Bruins, because Tyler will be a superstar in the league, especially if he can just clean up a little bit of his behavior. … That being said, the trade is excellent for Boston. … [Eriksson] is the legitimate deal. He’s a very solid two-way player, he’s capable of playing with big-time superstars, he can play deep in your lineup, he’ll never pout, he’ll never complain, and all he’ll do is produce. The other guy that came in that trade, Reilly Smith, way underrated player. … I really like the trade for both teams, but in particular, I think it’s weighted a little bit towards Boston, just because of the consistency the two players they got in Loui Eriksson and Reilly Smith.”
McGuire also touched on the new NHL rule that specifies players will be penalized for an additional two minutes, for a total of seven minutes total, if they take off their helmets before a fight.
“I hate to say this, because I’m all for player safety, I really am. I’ve seen too many horrific incidents going to even this year in the regular season with George Parros. … I’ve got to tell you, I don’t want to see anyone take their hat off, I don’t see the hats come off. I just don’t think that it’s appropriate,” he said. “There’s got to be a balance, there’s got to be a way. I don’t know what the way is, but I know one thing, there are a lot of people in the hockey community talking about it. I know it’s a big, big, point of emphasis for a lot of people that make big decisions in this league.”
McGuire gave a brief preview of the Bruins’ opponent Thursday night in the 3-0 Avalanche, who are mostly comprised of young and talented players.
“The fact of the matter is you’re going to see Nathan MacKinnon tonight, you’re going to see [Matt] Duchene tonight, you’re going to see what could be arguably one of the top third lines in the league right with Jamie McGinn, who’s played so well with Nathan MacKinnon and P.A. Parenteau. That line’s a ton of fun to watch.”
|Andy Brickley on M&M: Bruins’ power play ‘a work in progress’||10.09.13 at 2:11 pm ET|
NESN’s Andy Brickley joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about the Bruins’ hot start to the season.
Boston posted a pair of home victories last week. On Thursday, the Bruins beat the Lightning, 3-1, then they took down the Red Wings, 4-1.
One area Boston needed improving on following its Stanley Cup runner-up season is the power play. The Bruins ranked dead last in the NHL in power-play goals last season with 18. But they’ve already notched two man-advantage goals through two games.
‘It’s still a work in progress, and will be for a while, they’ll continue to experiment, and continue to try [Zdeno] Chara at the front of the net with one power-play unit,’ Brickley said. ‘You’ve got different weapons this year, [Jarome] Iginla‘s a great finisher with the man advantage, [Loui] Eriksson‘s a real good power-play guy.’
The Bruins hope Eriksson, who came over from the Stars for Seguin, can fill that void. Eriksson has not entered the point column yet as a Bruin.
‘He came in as the centerpiece of that deal, with Seguin going the other way down to Dallas, and I think the expectations are that he’s going to be a 70-point guy, and he’s off to a slow start as far as the offense is concerned,’ Brickley said. ‘I think the reason why is he, too, is playing with a little bit of a conservative attitude, trying to fit in with the system.
‘But he had a couple of really good scoring opportunities last game.’
Bruins forward Shawn Thornton joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning and discussed the heartbreak of last season’s Stanley Cup finals, the optimism he has for this year and his relationship with Red Sox players.
Boston began the regular season 2-0 with a pair of victories at home last week. The Bruins beat the Lightning 3-1 last Thursday, then the Red Wings 4-1 last Saturday.
‘It’s only been two games, but you can tell the personalities in the room, that guys are built not to take a night off,’ Thornton said. ‘We might not be at our best every night, but I think that guys get in there wanting to show up and play every night. That might sound like it’s easy to do and you should do it, but not everyone’s built like that. But I think that the guys we brought in, and the guys who were already here, and the guys we kept are definitely built that way.’
Looking back at last season’s Cup finals, the Bruins blew a 2-1 lead with just over a minute remaining in the third period of Game 6 vs. the Blackhawks on June 24, a loss that still stings for Thornton.
‘No, it’ll never be over,’ Thornton said when asked when the hangover from the postseason ends. ‘I’ll be thinking about it for years to come, but it’s more of a motivator than a hangover, you get that close and it stings.’
Less than three months removed from its gut-wrenching loss to Chicago, Boston made significant changes to its lineup. Forwards Tyler Seguin and Nathan Horton are gone, replaced by former Penguin Jerome Iginla and former Star Loui Eriksson, while youngsters Reilly Smith — acquired via trade from Dallas along with Erikkson this offseason — and Jordan Caron have taken on elevated roles.
‘We’ve got a group of guys that have been around for seven or eight years, and we know how important that is to make people feel welcome. So, coming into our room, you’d probably have to ask them, but I’d like to think that it’s a fairly easy transition, you come in with open arms,’ said Thornton.
The NHL implemented a new rule regarding fighting this season. Any player who removes his helmet before the start of a fight will receive a two-minute penalty in addition to the five-minute penalty for fighting.
‘I’m not a fan, I’m really not,’ said Thornton, Boston’s enforcer. ‘Obviously I’m a little biased, but it’s seven minutes for fighting now if a guy has a visor because everyone’s going to take their helmet off. And I think when you take the helmet off you take away from the player safety that everyone’s preaching, so I think it’s counterproductive.’
The Red Sox beat the Rays on Tuesday night and moved on to the ALCS where they’ll face either the Tigers or Athletics.
‘We’re big supporters of the Sox, pretty much any local sports team I guess,’ Thornton said. ‘You get to meet a lot of those guys when you’re out and about in town so there’s a lot of crossover, they support us, we support them. I’ve been here for seven years, kind of turned me from a Jays fan to a Sox fans, I’m not going to lie.’