Seguin ready to earn respect and ice time

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Seguin ready to earn respect and ice time

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs

Tyler Seguin holds a simple individual goal in mind heading into his second NHL season as a 19-year-old puck prodigy with a Stanley Cup already under his belt.

After spending the summer working out with the trainers at BioSteel Sports and raising his body weight all the way up to 196 pounds heading into training camp, Seguin has diligently worked on increasing his size and physical strength.

For a guy listed as 186 pounds during his rookie campaign -- that probably dropped to around 180 pounds during the postseason -- Seguin has done plenty of work in the weight room. That should help him win battles in the corner for pucks, and make Seguin a tougher customer on the puck when the Bs desperately need it.

Ive talked to him and seen him, and I think hes gotten taller actually, said general manager Peter Chiarelli. Ill be curious to see when hes measured on Friday. I know hes gotten bigger. He told me he was 196. Usually thats a high water mark and hell come down to 194 pounds or whatever, but he does look bigger.

I see a more mature kid. Its just maturation and growing up. Hes maturing, hes getting stronger and he knows what to expect. With all of that comes more confidence and I anticipate some improvement.

BioSteel Sports even had workout guruNHL legend Gary Roberts consult with Seguin and the rest of the players for several weeks over the summer. Roberts was the nutritionfitness expert credited with carving Steve Stamkos into such a physical specimen prior to his second NHL season.

Nobody is holding Seguin to that high Stamkos standard coming off an uneven rookie season with a veteran Bruins crew, but improvement over last years 11 goals and 22 points shouldnt be too difficult.

Seguin is returning to the same veteran Bs team that held few openings within the top six forwards for a skilled player like himself, but the Bruins coaching staff has always shown theyll make room for a youngster that pushes his way into the fold. That will be the challenge for No. 19 this season as a 19-year-old that seems to have it all at such a ridiculously young age.

So Seguin celebrated the Cup win for a couple of weeks after things were over in Vancouver, and has since worked feverishly in Toronto getting himself ready for a bigger and better sophomore effort.

I had probably the summer of my life starting off with winning and going back home to see family and friends, said Seguin. Bringing the Cup back to them is what its all about. Then I got back to work, put on a few pounds and got ready to get back for this year.

Im expecting a better season from myself this year. Its obviously nice to not go into the season blind. I know what to expect mentally and physically now, and I obviously want to earn more respect from the staff and players. Getting more ice time obviously goes right along with that, and that will help me with my production on the ice.

The most important goal for Seguin headed into this season is earning the respect of each member of the roster and staff, and by virtue earning a bigger slice of the ice time handed out by coach Claude Julien. Seguin managed only 12:13 of ice time per game in his 71 contests while bouncing between positions, lines and linemates, and thats not enough ice for a player looking to break games open with his explosive skills.

Both Julien and Chiarelli expected a more mature, experienced player ready to hit the ground running this time around. In the end it will be about producing more offense on a consistent basis and minimizing the cold streaks that were all too prevalent in Seguins first season. If that happens Seguin will get his ice time and should see the kind of year everyone unfairly envisioned for him as an 18-year-old babe in the NHL woods last year.

We need to see him be a better player. Hes got a year under his belt, so its consistency, said Julien. He showed flashes of what he can do. We just need to see on a more consistent level. Hes going to have more confidence and he has the experience, so thats going to come.

I think he understands that and he certainly seems to think that hes ready for it.

If Seguin can become the permanent winger alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand then all the better, but theyll take an uptick in offensive performance and some production on the power play either way. With a core of older, battle-hardened players on the Bs roster, it will be the energy and fresh body of a player like Seguin that could help push Boston as far as they go next spring.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Hindsight is always 20/20, of course, but it appears the Bruins made a mistake buying out veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg from the final couple of years of his contract. 

Seidenberg just finished up a wildly successful stint with host Team Germany at the IIHF World Championships, where he was named Directorate Best Defenseman (the tournament’s best defenseman) after leading all D-men with a goal and eight points. This came after Seidenberg, at age 35, posted 5 goals and 22 points in 73 games for the Islanders, with whom he signed after being cut loose by the B's, while averaging a shade under 20 minutes per game.  Seidenberg also had an excellent World Cup of Hockey tournament for Team Europe last summer (where he was teamed once again with Zdeno Chara), thus managing to play at a high level from September all the way through May.

A faction of Bruins fans thought he was on the serious decline after the 2015-16 season and, clearly, the Bruins agreed, opting to buy him out with two more years still left on a sizable contract extension. (They owe him $2.16 million next season and then will be charged $1.16 million on their salary cap over the next two seasons.) But the B's could have used a durable, defensive warrior like Seidenberg in the playoffs, when they lost three of their top four defensemen against the Ottawa Senators. A rejuvenated Seidenberg, able to play both the left and right side, would have been a better option than Colin Miller.

The Bruins made a conscious decision to hand things over to younger defensemen like Miller, Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo and Joe Morrow in cutting ties with Seidenberg. But they also perhaps miscalculated how much Seidenberg still had left in the tank after his best season in at least three years. 

“Well, at the time we felt like [Seidenberg's] game had really dropped off to where we thought he couldn’t contribute, and we wanted to see if some younger players could come in and help us out,” Bruins president Cam Neely said at the end-of-the-season press conference earlier this month. “I’ve got to say he played well this year for Long Island. But at the time we thought it was the right move. You can’t envision us having three of our top four D’s get hurt [in the playoffs]. We went through a lot of D’s in the postseason. You can’t predict that.”

Neely is referring to the decision made after Seidenberg’s second straight minus season in Boston, when back injuries and a major knee injury had seemed to slow him down a bit. It seemed the only way to properly evaluate some of their other, younger defenseman was to cut Seidenberg loose, but one has to wonder if the Bruins would have possibly done it had they known he was still capable of playing like he did this season for the Islanders. 

Either way, the buyout of Seidenberg is an extremely legitimate second guess of Bruins management in a year where they did a lot of things right. 
 

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while feeling like we’ll be getting a Pittsburgh/Nashville Stanley Cup Final, which I suppose would be the best possible outcome at this point.

*You hear the name and it just gets you angry all over again if you grew up watching the Bruins. Ulf Samuelsson is in the running for an assistant coaching job with the Chicago Blackhawks, according to a report.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Chris Johnston says it appears that the time is running out on a Cinderella season for the Ottawa Senators.

*A taste of winning at the world championships with Team Sweden could fuel Alex Edler’s desire for a change from the rebuilding Vancouver Canucks.

*Interesting piece on a former can’t miss goaltending prospect with the Nashville Predators that ended up totally missing, and what he’s been up to in life since then.

*Guy Boucher explains to Pro Hockey Talk why he kept changing goaltenders in the Game 5 blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

*Don Cherry explains that he hates afternoon hockey during his Coach’s Corner from Hockey Night in Canada in the Game 5 blowout between the Penguins and Predators.

*A good piece from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Alex Prewitt on the Nashville Predators, and the evolution of the franchise into a team on the verge of a Stanley Cup Final appearance.

*For something completely different: What a win by the Boston Celtics in Game 3 in Cleveland, and quite an interesting, fired up interview with Al Horford afterward.