Chiarelli: Seguin 'learned a lesson' in playoffs

Chiarelli: Seguin 'learned a lesson' in playoffs
April 28, 2014, 3:30 pm
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BOSTON – Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli was asked about the criticism he’s heard about the Tyler Seguin trade in his press conference prior to the playoffs. The Boston GM was posed the same question again in his Monday presser at TD Garden between the first and second round of the playoffs. The last time he was asked about the former No. 2 overall pick for Boston, Seguin had just put the finishing touches on a regular season that saw him post 37 goals and 84 points in 80 games for a playoff-bound Dallas club.

This time around Seguin still had the breathtaking regular season offensive number, but he also had just one goal and three points in the six-game series loss for the Stars to the Anaheim Ducks. Seguin has just one goal in his last 28 playoff games, and just four goals in his last 46 playoff games after bursting out of the gate with three goals in his first two postseason games with Boston.

That’s a pretty troubling trend for a player that’s supposed to be an NHL star that ups his game in the postseason. Perhaps that helped ease some of the critics of the deal that brought Loui Eriksson and Reilly Smith among others to Boston, but Chiarelli didn’t appear all that perturbed either way.

“I don’t think I’ll ever quiet criticism, there will always be critics," Chiarelli said. "Sure, I’ll face questions about [Tyler] Seguin. Last year at the Stanley Cup Final, my first question was Tuukka Rask – acquiring Tuukka Rask. How do I feel that I wasn’t the guy who acquired Tuukka Rask? So bring it on, I’m not being a smartass. You know what, Tyler [Seguin] was a fast player, you know, we got two really good players and we got probably two other really good players that you will see in a couple years.

“You heard me earlier about building a team that wins. You have to make decisions on guys. There are cap decisions, there are personality decisions, there’s where that player will play, and all those things come in to effect. Tyler had a terrific year, he led our team in scoring, and he led Dallas in scoring. He will continue to get better. He learned a lesson in the playoffs. [Dallas] loss last night and they will continue to get better because they have a young group. I’ll continue to answer those questions.”

Chiarelli has answered the same sort of questions as Phil Kessel – another gifted goal-scorer that the Bruins traded away during the GM’s tenure – blossomed into a franchise player with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The ultimate answer is that the Bruins are still playing playoff hockey while those two players are on a golf course somewhere, but Chiarelli will dutifully continue to answer the questions.

“I continue to answer questions about trading Phil Kessel, he is a terrific player with Toronto. He was their leading scorer. When I traded him I said, ‘this guy is a 45-goal scorer’, and he almost is. So they are hard decisions and you know what? When you're in this seat and you have to make those decisions, you expect criticism. So I am not being a smart ass.”

Ask Chiarelli all you want about Seguin and Kessel, and he will professionally answer those questions. He also will not be able to stress enough how much he’s not actually being a smartass.