Tyler Seguin used adjectives like “weird,” “awkward” and “cool” to describe his feelings upon his return to the TD Garden for the first time since his July 4 trade to the Dallas Stars.
“It’s a little weird . . . just pulling into the city,” said Seguin, who leads Dallas with 15 points (6 goals, 9 assists) on the season. “It’s a little awkward, I guess you could say. But after a few minutes on the ice it felt pretty good.
“I have no idea what to expect [tomorrow night]. But I’m excited for it. I saw some of the guys when I get in yesterday. It’s going to be a cool experience."
Clearly it will be all of those things and more when the puck is dropped between the Bruins and Stars on Tuesday night, but Seguin was still trying to piece it all together after a Monday afternoon practice in Boston.
The 21-year-old made a few attempts to move on to other talking points aside rehashing the trade, but they were futile given that Monday was his first time back in the Bruins’ barn since being dealt -- along with Ryan Button and Rich Peverley -- from the Stars to the B's for Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Joe Morrow and Matt Fraser.
Seguin pushed the notion he was beyond regrets from his three years in Boston. He waxed about the Stanley Cup season and his All-Star campaign in 2011-12.
But it was difficult to not read some tension between the lines.
“There are some tremendous memories when I come here, and it’s a good feeling,” said Seguin. “I’m not a part of Boston anymore, but it’s still a part of me. I’ll still visit all the time in the summertime. There were some decisions that I could have made differently. In the end people make mistakes . . . everybody does.
“I don’t think I regret too much. I’ve faced up to all the music already and I’ve moved on. I was just growing into a pro. I was the young guy for a while before Dougie [Hamilton] got here. But any decisions I made never really affected my job, or when I came to the rink. It never affected my work ethic.”
One thing that should be clear to Seguin at this point: There were plenty of reasons why he was traded away three years after being the No. 2 overall pick, and just a year removed from a 30-goal season before he turned 21 years old.
There were clear signs of immaturity off the ice, an inability to develop into a franchise center on the ice, and a belief he might not be worth a $5.75 million-per-year salary cap tag for the next six seasons. Whatever the reasons, Seguin said he didn’t have it in mind to “stick it to the Bruins” for stunning him with the trade, which came little more than a week following the end of last season.
“When the day actually came I wasn’t too surprised,” said Seguin, who said he was surprised when the rumors first popped up during draft weekend. “I feel like the player and person I am today isn’t who I was in Boston. I feel like I’ve improved. I have no limit on where I’m going to go. It’s a whole different situation and opportunity after getting traded.
“The [Bruins] had their reasons. Whether you want to put it on the cap, I don’t think they had one particular reason. But I’ve moved on. Regret is not a word I’m using when I look back. I’m not going to sit here and say that when I go into a game -- even if it’s not against Boston -- that you want to prove people wrong . . . prove some of you guys [in the media] that are standing here wrong. I won’t change anything different whether it’s playing against a certain team.”
Pardon us if we’re not buying that line from a player that had just bought his first home in Winchester just weeks prior to getting traded to Dallas.
Seguin saw a number of his former Bruins teammates on Saturday night, and was actually planning on having dinner with Marchand on Monday night prior to tomorrow’s emotional tilt.
It’s good to see while some things have clearly changed forever between Seguin and the Bruins, the Seguin/Marchand bromance is still going strong.