The Bruins make cap space for themselves in this deal, about $4 million. Which they need in order to pay Tuukka Rask and Patrice Bergeron. And they need that cap room because they gave Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley too much money. I don't think the Stars wanted Peverley (6 goals and 12 assists last year). He was a throw-in, with his $3.25 million salary cap hit.
I don't think this has much to do with Seguin partying or his attitude. He's a famous 21-year old NHL star in a hockey city, he's going to screw around. Maybe he pushed the partying a bit much, I don't know. You know who else doesn't know? The media. The media depends on Twitter and third-hand accounts to piece together what these athletes do in their social lives. Instead of just going to a bar where Seguin and his friends go, and doing first-hand journalism.
We have a tradition here in Boston when an athlete departs a team in a confounding way: there are stories told about the behind the scenes reasons for him to go. There are all sorts of stories flying around about Seguin's personal life irritating the Bruins' front office. The most salacious being that Seguin was locked in his hotel room during the playoffs, under guard to make sure he didn't leave that room. Which is probably a twisted fact. The Bruins stayed in a hotel in Boston during the playoffs, and I'm sure there were security guards in their section of the hotel, which is a standard practice when teams stay at hotels, at home and on the road.
I can't say I'm excited about losing Seguin. And I'm not excited at all about gaining Eriksson. Eriksson's ceiling for production seems to be between 25 and 30 goals. Seguin's ceiling is much higher. Eriksson is also 6 years older.
Seguin hasn't produced in the way we've expected him to, especially in the playoffs. Then again he's 21-years old. His tenure with the Bruins has always been focused on learning defense. And he bought into that defensive mindset and changed positions because of that. I would have preferred Seguin have another season here, a full season without a Swiss Lockout vacation, a full season to prove he wanted to take things seriously and take that next step as a scorer.
And here's why. Some might argue that the Bruins were on the verge of a Stanley Cup without Seguin producing. And that's true. So maybe the B's don't need him. Then again, had Seguin produced in the Finals, the Bruins win the Cup. Two timely goals in the Finals from Seguin and there's a parade not a trade.
So the Bruins didn't need Seguin to do well for the team to do well. But if he had done well, they would have won it all. He has the talent and the capability to be an over-the-top kind of player.
Ultimately, though, the salary cap forces teams to make tough decisions. I'd rather have Bergeron than Seguin. I'd rather have Rask than Seguin, although Rask at over $7 million a season for many years seems like a lot, but that's for another post.
I do wish the Bruins had been more careful with their 3rd line contracts. As good as Kelly and Peverley were in 2011, that type of player is easy to replace at a bargain rate. The type of player Seguin could be is not easily replaced. And the Bruins are paying for their generosity to those 3rd liners by giving up a potential 40+ goal scorer.