MONTREAL -- The start to Tyler Seguins second NHL season had much of the too good to be true ring to it after the teenage puck prodigy jumped out to nine points in his first nine games of the season.
Seguin appears to have truly turned the corner toward becoming an offensive force for the Bruins for years to come. But here comes the splash of cold water.
An ESPNBoston.com report, citing league and team sources, threw some icy water on the Seguin optimism Friday when it revealed the 19-year-old natural born playmaker has a congenital hip situation that makes him more susceptible to future hip injuries and with it a potential for a degenerative hip condition down the line due to repetitive stress usage.
Basically the report stated Seguin might have hip issues later in his career that could potentially shorten his hockey body of work just like somebody could saunter out onto Boylston Street and get hit by a speeding Winnebago tomorrow.
Seguin vehemently denied the report Saturday morning at the Bell Centre following the teams morning skate, and several team sources took issue with it being a congenital hip problem as stated in the story.
Ive heard there was a story out there about my hip. I can say that Im 100 percent healthy, said Seguin. Anything about my hip is really false. I have no problems and I wasnt born with any symptoms or anything like that.
Im all good. I can sit here and say things about me, and tell the truth. Whatever happens outside of what I say is out of my control, but I know how I feel and how my hips are. Theyre 100 percent fine.
Seguin said he doesnt do anything differently to protect his hips than any other hockey player on the planet as hip injuries become more and more commonplace within the NHL. Where once the injuries were described as groin problems or sports hernias, proper stretching to avoid hip injuries and repetitive strain problems is something Seguin practices religiously each day he laces up the skates.
I think for hockey players hips and groins are a big thing for all of us, said Seguin. Lots of guys get pulled groins and things like that, and I know personally I do extra stuff in the summer-time for hip and groin workouts before I do my regular work. You need to do that stuff if you want to have a long career.
The timing of the report is interesting in that the questions for the report on Seguins hip were asked over a month ago, and were only released for consumption with the Bruins playing a big weekend series against the Montreal Canadiens while the eyes of the hockey world on both teams.
One Bruins team source said nearly every player on the roster has a medical issue that could lead to surgery at some point in their careers, and its pretty clear there are bigger fish for the team to fry after a 3-6 start to their season.
It would be like reporting (Player A) has bursitis in his ankle that might need surgery someday or (Player B) has a calcium deposit that might be an issue down the line, said a team source. There are plenty of players that will need surgeries at some point in their careers if they play 10 or 15 years in the league, but take a look at the players when they are out on the ice.
Our leading scorer in the playoffs (David Krejci) and our Conn Smythe winner (Tim Thomas) both had hip conditions that needed to be addressed with surgery, and both players have bounced back tremendously well. Its something that happens in the world of professional sports. Now a perfectly healthy 19-year-old hockey player has to answer questions about a hip problem that hasnt even presented itself.
Mike Lowell is a good example of a player that battled through the congenital hip issue described in the story, and he played 11 years of Major League Baseball before succumbing to a hip surgery at 34 years old that eventually forced him to retire two years later at the age of 36. But Lowell never did the proper stretching or maintenance for an athlete with a higher susceptibility to hip issues until it was too late, and it appears that that Seguin is way ahead of the game at this point in his very young NHL career.
So those worried about Bostons 19-year-old leading scorer all of a sudden needing an artificial hip or a walker to get around the Bs dressing room should take heart: the Seguin hip story appears to be much ado about not much.