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The Tyler Seguin Domino Effect


Making his mark as a major playoff piece for the Boston Bruins, young gun 20-year-old Tyler Seguin was approaching his peak in the 2011-12 season. This was his best season with the Bruins, with 26 goals and 38 assists. He also won his first Stanley Cup with the Bruins in his rookie year the prior season, scoring seven points in 13 games. He would see playoff action in all three seasons with Boston collecting 18 points in 42 games over that span.

In September 2012, the Bruins signed Seguin to a six-year contract extension at $5.75 million per season, a deal that wasn’t set to expire until after the 2018-19 season. The deal made him one of the best bargains in the NHL at the time. But ultimately, the Bruins decided to move the then 21-year-old Seguin following the 2012-13 season. The Dallas Stars ended up being the perfect trade partner for the Bruins and Seguin was shipped to Dallas on July 4, 2013.

Since this blockbuster trade, there has been speculation over what led to his send-off from the Boston Bruins and the overall impact this has had on not only the Bruins ever since, but the Stars as well. On the eleventh anniversary of what is viewed as a light-hearted moment in hockey history, it’s time to consider what the Tyler Seguin Bruins team breakfast scratch had on his future with the Bruins organization.

The Scratch

While some noted Seguin’s on-ice struggles in the postseason battle against Toronto as a possible reason for him being traded, his parents believed that it had to do with some off-ice activities that the Bruins might not have been too pleased with. “Him having a good time occasionally, and it being in the media, this was something that the Bruins thought should never happen,” said Paul Seguin according to the Toronto Star. “Even if it happened once or twice or three times, the Bruins didn’t like this happening even once.”

This conflict Seguin had with the Bruins inevitably culminated in his missing of team breakfast in Winnipeg on December 6th, 2011. Seguin claimed he missed it simply due to oversleeping and setting his alarm clock to the wrong time, Boston time (Eastern), while being in Winnipeg (Centeral). However, a keen observer could figure out that Winnipeg is 1 hour behind Boston, so any alarm set at Boston time in Winnipeg would actually wake you up one hour earlier than intended. Leaving the probability that Seguin purposefully skipped team breakfast. While this seems innocent enough, the Bruins clearly had a problem with Seguin’s off-ice activities and did not take this situation lightly. Hence, leading to Seguin being scratched for that night’s game against the Jets, which ended in a 2-1 win for Winnipeg. But the Bruins lost more than that game in Winnipeg that day.

The Aftermath

The Bruins’ disappointment since that day simmered under the surface for one more season, where Seguin’s production tapered off, scoring almost half of the points he did the previous season. Seguin wasn’t working for the Bruins and it was time to let him go.

That 2013 off-season, the Bruins traded Tyler Seguin to the Stars along with Rich Peverley and defenceman Ryan Button in exchange for forward Loui Eriksson and three prospects: Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser. All of whom are no longer with the Bruins. At the time, Eriksson was just 28. He brought a lot of experience and potential to the Bruins roster and was a better character off the ice than Seguin. While it didn’t sit well with a number of Bruins fans to see Seguin go, hockey fans in Dallas were about to get a taste of the raw talent that Seguin possessed which made him the second overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Since Seguin’s arrival to Dallas, his impact has been outstanding. His top performance so far was in the 2017-18 season with 40 goals and 38 assists. He led the Stars in scoring again in 2018-19 (80 points; 33 goals, 47 assists) and 2019-20 (50 points; 17 goals, 33 assists). Seguin contributed 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) during Dallas’ run to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final. Each year the Stars look more like a playoff team and with a growing roster with Jason Robertson and Jake Oettinger, the Stars look even stronger.

Whether the Bruins made the right decision in letting him go at the time is up for debate, however I’m sure the Stars don’t regret that decision at all. If the team breakfast scratch was the first domino to fall in Tyler Seguin’s NHL career, it surely led to the right places for him and Dallas.

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