Seguin denies being born with hip problem

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Seguin denies being born with hip problem

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.

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

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Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.

“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.

“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”

Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.

“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”

Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.

As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious. 

Sweeney: 'Helpless feeling' hoping World Cup players return healthy

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Sweeney: 'Helpless feeling' hoping World Cup players return healthy

BRIGHTON, Mass. – It’s a bit of a helpless feeling for an NHL general manager watching their star players participate in an intense hockey tournament like the World Cup of Hockey that doesn’t directly benefit their respective teams.

Not helpless because of the tournament’s outcome, obviously, but helpless because players could return from Toronto dinged up, or even worse significantly injured.

Aaron Ekblad had to shut it down for Team North American with what many speculated was a concussion, and Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray is out a month, or more, with a broken hand sustained playing for the same young guns team.

So, it certainly must have been an uneasy few moments for Don Sweeney when Brad Marchand was pulled from Team Canada’s last game for the concussion protocol after a nasty-looking collision with Team Europe forward Marian Hossa.

Marchand went through the testing, and ended up returning to the game no worse for the wear. But it could have been a lot worse for a Bruins team that can’t afford to be missing Marchand, Patrice Bergeron or Zdeno Chara, who are still playing for teams alive in the semifinal round of the tourney.

“I would expect all of us to have been in a similar situation. For everybody - any general manager, coaches, staff, you're concerned about [injuries],” said Sweeney, talking about the World Cup and Marchand’s close call. “I mean, especially when you realize the stakes are going to go up as the tournament goes along. The pride involved - it's a risk. There's no question, it's a risk.

“But you also want to see them play their best hockey and they're not going to hold back. Yeah, it's a definite concern. You've got your fingers and toes crossed.”

David Pastrnak and Tuukka Rask have already returned to Boston fully healthy. David Backes should be joining the team anytime now after Team USA’s rude dismissal from the tournament. But Sweeney and the Bruins still have their sensors out for the three B’s players taking part that aren’t quite out of the woods yet before returning to B’s camp in one piece.