Seguin has sage words of advice for Dougie Hamilton

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Seguin has sage words of advice for Dougie Hamilton

BOSTON -- Zdeno Chara has been remarkable in his praise of cant miss 19-year-old defenseman prospect Dougie Hamilton.
Theres a natural kinship, of course, between the big man blueliners with the 6-foot-9 Chara observing the 6-foot-5 Hamilton go about his business on the ice and embark on the natural development path his career will take.
The Bruins captain and Norris Trophy winning defenseman has already said that Hamilton is way better than where Chara was in his teenage years. It took Chara years of experience and coaching to learn how to utilize the strengths of the NHLs biggest body while minimizing the weaknesses.
Perhaps the difference between the two backgrounds isnt surprising given that one was a third round project out of Slovakia and the other is a top-10 draft pick with elite World Junior credentials.
Even so, Chara will be Hamiltons biggest on-ice role model to emulate in a hockey apprenticeship thats expected to last much longer than just the youngsters 2013 rookie season.
Its pretty clear that the 6-foot-9 Chara has the youngsters attention.
You can see how Chara is out there, said Hamilton. I dont get the chance to watch too much NHL hockey when Im playing, but when you watch him out there hes pretty sick. If I can learn from him and try to get better by watching him, Im going to do that as much as I can.
But the off ice times have changed for a young NHL player bursting onto the scene as a teenager a phenomenon that is happening more and more with each passing hockey season. There are Twitter, TMZ, and camera phones ready to document anything and everything that happens in the public eye.
Believe it or not Tyler Seguin becomes an important part of Hamiltons transition to the NHL at the tender age of 19 years old. Hes the closest to Hamilton age-wise on the Bruins roster, and Seguin knows what its like to be the Black and Golden boy prospect sure to be subject to suffocating scrutiny in an already challenging rookie NHL season.
Seguin had an up-and-down rookie campaign with 22 points and a minus-4 in 74 games, and found himself a healthy scratch at points when he wound up in Claude Juliens doghouse.
The trajectory of inconsistent play amid lofty expectations should be the same for Hamilton, who is being given power play looks during early camp practices and has been paired with Dennis Seidenberg. But the learning curve for a young NHL defensemen can be lengthy, and filled with teaching moments on the ice that dont always come from success.
So what is Seguins best advice to Hamilton as he goes through the same coming of age experience as the 2010 No. 2 overall pick did jumping from the OHL to the NHL two years ago?
Im sure Ill sit down and talk to him, but hes just got to have fun with the first experience stepping into an NHL team. When you first get into this league youre going to be a little bit in awe, and you just need to figure out where you fit on the team and how your game translates to this league, said Seguin, who blossomed into an All-Star performer and the Bs leading scorer in his second NHL season. You also have to have your ears open all the time, though.
There is so much learning that hes going to have to experience. Ill talk to him about it, but he just has to be open to it all and accept any young rookie hazing he might get. Its part of the journey and its a lot of fun.
Seguin said that for him the biggest adjustments were more off ice than on it: instead of skating on the OHL where guys are looking to get drafted or hook on with a college program, the NHL was full of grown men looking to treat the game like the multi-billion dollar business that it is. That meant treating it with the same discipline that you would any job in any walk of life.
It was boys to men. Guys here have kids and families and theyre fighting for their jobs and their lives. When youre at the junior level youre just fighting to get here, said Seguin. Its a different experience both on and off ice. Its the big leagues. Youre playing for your family or whatever, but youre also playing for an entire city rather than a small junior hockey town.
People are going to be talking about you all the time, and talking to you when they see you in the street. Theyre going to love you when youre doing well, and when youre not theyre going to tell you about it. Its a lot to take in, but its quite an honor. If I was him I wouldnt worry about what anybody was saying about him because guys like you in the media are going to be saying he needs to do this or that. Id tell him to delete his twitter account for the first little bit that hes in the NHL and not even look at it.
Thats probably sage advice for a teenager that will have enough on his plate in an abbreviated 48-game NHL schedule without worrying whats being said about him good or bad in the realm of social media. The Seguin orientation program for Dougie Hamilton continued on Monday night as No. 19 and Brad Marchand squired the rookie defenseman out to a Boston Celtics game at TD Garden with courtside seats, of course.
Perhaps Seguin even passed on some of those wise words of experience from his event-filled first two NHL seasons, so Hamilton can learn from the franchise forwards missteps and triumphs during that time.
Those would seem to be the first signs of true leadership shown from a maturing Seguin in his third NHL season, and one of the first real moments between two youngsters that will be the pillars of the Black and Gold franchise for years to come.

Brown apologizes for 'distraction' caused by Facebook Live video

Brown apologizes for 'distraction' caused by Facebook Live video

Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Antonio Brown posted an apology on social media Tuesday night for his Facebook Live video that has caused a stir over the last few days.

"I let my emotions and genuine excitement get the best of me, and I wanted to share that moment with our fans," said Brown in a statement on his Twitter. ""It was wrong of me to do, against team and NFL policy, and I have apologized to Coach Tomlin and my teammates for my actions.

"I'm sorry to them for letting it become a distraction and something that they've had to answer questions about while we're preparing for a big game on Sunday."

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that he has “absolutely no worries on the video's effect" on Sunday's game against the Patriots, but it was "selfish and inconsiderate" of his star wide receiver.

Brown could still be fined for violating the league's social-media policy. The policy states that players, coaches and football operations personnel are banned from using social media on game days 90 minutes before kickoff, during games, and before "traditional media interviews."

Haggerty: Bruins would be foolish to deal away Carlo right now

Haggerty: Bruins would be foolish to deal away Carlo right now

There’s been smoke for weeks signaling trade talks between the Boston Bruins and the Colorado Avalanche, and things are reportedly heating up with the Bruins potentially reaching a tipping point with their subpar play on the ice. According to Bleacher Report columnist Adrian Dater, things may be progressing between the two teams because the Bruins are beginning to entertain the idea of trading away 20-year-old top pairing rookie defenseman Brandon Carlo.

Bruins Director of Player Personnel John Ferguson Jr. was expected to be out in Colorado scouting the Avalanche/Blackhawks game on Tuesday night, and perhaps getting a long look at players like Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene and Tyson Barrie among others.

The expectation is that 24-year-old Landeskog is in the middle of these trade discussions, and that he would be one of the players targeted by a Bruins team that could use more size on the wing, and more players that can put the puck in the net. Certainly Landeskog has done that in his brief NHL career after being a No. 2 overall pick, and has four 20-goal seasons on his resume prior to a disappointing, injury-plagued current season in Colorado.

The word around the league was that talks fizzled between the Bruins and Avs previously when Joe Sakic asked about the availability of the Colorado Springs native Carlo, and those discussions hit the same crunching roadblock that Winnipeg did in discussions with Boston about Jacob Trouba.

Perhaps that has changed in the last 24 hours after Cam Neely and Don Sweeney watched their Bruins completely no-show against the worst team in the Eastern Conference, the New York Islanders, on Monday afternoon. Now one would expect that Bruins management is getting desperate feeling that a third “Did Not Qualify” for the Stanley Cup playoffs could be in their future if they don’t make a bold, swift move to shake up their dazed hockey club.

But let’s not pull any punches here. The entire Bruins management group should be fired on the spot if they trade a 20-year-old, top pairing shutdown defenseman on an entry level contract like Carlo unless they are getting a bona fide superstar in return. Carlo, Charlie McAvoy and David Pastrnak should all be young, untouchable assets for a Bruins organization that is years away from legitimately holding a chance at a Stanley Cup.

Landeskog is not a bona fide superstar. He’s a good player that’s topped out at 26 goals and 65 points in the NHL, but he’s also the Captain on a horrendous, underachieving Avalanche team over the last three years.

If the price were right for Landeskog it would make all the sense in the world for the Bruins to deal him, but it’s a giant honking red flag that Colorado is looking to unload a player like him that’s signed for a reasonable $5.5 million price tag over the next four seasons. Teams don’t trade young players like that with term unless there’s more to the story, and that’s something the Bruins would do well to consider before giving up a player that could be a top-4 shutdown defenseman in Boston for the next 10 years.

Teams like the Bruins that are in reloading mode also shouldn’t be trading 20-year-old players for 24-year-old players that have already cashed in on their second contract. That’s exactly how the Bruins can get right back into salary cap trouble, and do it with a team that’s producing far less than the Peter Chiarelli groups that were at least still making the playoffs.  

Certainly the Bruins have other young D-men like Charlie McAvoy, Jakub Zboril and Jeremy Lauzon coming down the pipeline, but none of those defensemen are in the mold of a true shutdown D like the 6-foot-5 Carlo. With Zdeno Chara in the final few years of his career with the Black and Gold, the B’s are going to need Carlo to slide into that defensive stopper role given his size, strength, wing span and willingness to do the dirty work the D-zone.

That goes beyond the simple fact that rebuilding the back end with ALL of those young stud D-men is the best way to actually build the Bruins back up into a legitimate Eastern Conference power. 

It would be a giant mistake for the Bruins to ship away a player like Carlo with the hope Landeskog can put Boston over the hump for the playoffs this season, and perhaps ease some of the intense pressure currently weighing on Sweeney and Neely. That kind of desperate move smacks of doing it for all of the wrong reasons, and that’s one way to ensure that the Bruins will never escape the web of mediocrity that they’re currently caught in.