Chiarelli was right to trade Seguin

Chiarelli was right to trade Seguin
July 5, 2013, 5:45 pm
Share This Post

The trade that sends Tyler Seguin out of town was almost perfect.

By dealing Seguin to the Dallas Stars, the Bruins give up a 21 year old player with a superstar caliber skillset that for whatever reason would ultimately never fulfill his potential for the Boston Bruins. They also send away Rich Peverly, a player who was never going to be a good fit for his salary, as Peverly was overpaid from the moment he signed his 3-year extension.  

In return, the Bruins get a legitimate two-way top line talent that will fit Coach Claude Julien’s system in Loui Eriksson. Eriksson’s 4.25 million AAV cap number through 2016 looks like a type-o after today’s free agent insanity. The Bruins also stock their farm system with three legitimate NHL prospects and only give up defensive prospect Ryan Button, who was probably never destined to pull on a Bruins Sweater.

The only thing that would have made this deal better was if Bruin’s GM Peter Chiarelli had the stones to pull it off 3 months ago.

Let’s face facts. Tyler Seguin was never going to work out in Boston. The type of player Seguin is and the type of player the Bruins wanted him to be were mutually exclusive. He was miscast in a role as a wing, as numerous forays into the corners would attest. Seguin was also never going to be the kind of center Julian could tolerate on his team playing in his system.  

These facts were not recent developments, and neither was his alleged immaturity. Rumors of Seguin’s off-ice habits had been trickling out for a while. His suspension after sleeping through a team breakfast in Winnipeg probably had more to do with closing time than central time.  

Seguin’s 5.75 million dollar cap hit, which Chiarelli signed him to less than a year ago, didn’t change because Seguin’s game suffered. It’s the same number that it would have been if Seguin had turned in a postseason where he scored more than Dan Paille.

So why does he get dealt now?

Because it’s safer for Chiarelli to do it now than it would have been at the deadline. The failures and flaws of Seguin haven’t changed or increased. The only difference is that they are now laid out for all to see. And that’s the difference that matters to Chiarelli, because it gives him the justification to make this deal while minimizing the risk.  

Now that Seguin had a postseason where he was demoted to the 3rd line and struggled to score, it wasn’t nearly as risky to deal him. Did anyone, especially the GM, really think Seguin’s numbers were going to improve with the High Glass crew? Dan Paille getting promoted to the third line gave it more spark than Seguin’s demotion did.  
 
After the cup loss, rumors of Seguin’s immaturity finally beginning to achieve confirmation in the press. If you were a GM trying to move Seguin and maximize his value would you deny the reports until you consummated a deal, or do what Chiarelli did and basically confirm them with his pre-draft press conference, calling for Seguin to be more professional? This was PR 101 and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of Jeremy Jacobs' cash went to Larry Lucchino for consulting fees.

Admitting that your 21 year old superstar-in-waiting has a maturity problem drives down his value but as long as it helps lessen the public relations backlash, it was all worth it in Chiarelli’s world.

This deal, and probably others were there for the taking if Chiarelli shopped Seguin at the deadline. They obviously had more than enough information on Seguin internally to make this decision. All that it would have required from the B’s GM is to go out on a limb and take a calculated risk. In fact, Seguin at the deadline probably would have brought more than he did yesterday, as a disappointing postseason and recent maturity revelations would have never have factored into the asking price.

But like every other move Chiarelli has made since the Bruins won the Cup in 2011, the safeness of it was a key consideration. Winning the public relations battle that was sure to happen after trading Seguin was more important to Chiarelli than winning a cup last season. Allowing the Bruins to fail with Seguin on the team was by far more preferable to taking a chance on using Seguin in a trade to improve the team and having it fail just the same.  

Would Errikson have put the Bruins over the top against Chicago? No one can say for certain.  

But would a line of Marchand Bergeron and Errikson be superior to the versions we saw with Seguin and Jagr? Given Seguin’s demotion and Jagr having less points and a worse plus minus than Tomas Kaberle in 2011? It’s almost a certainty.

Unfortunately with Chiarelli as Bruins GM, I have to temper my optimism for this team’s potential with a dose of reality.

I have to consider that this is a GM that didn’t spend to the cap during the last two seasons while the core of a cup winning team remained intact, nor did he use the Marc Savard money to improve it.

This was a GM that found it preferable to give Chris Bourque an 18-game NHL fantasy camp instead of finding a winger who could score in free agency.

This was a GM who in two post cup campaigns felt that Joe Corvo, Benoit Pouliot, Brian Rolston, Greg Zanon, Mike Mottau, Flounder, Kaspars Daugavins, Aaron Johnson, Wade Redden, Jay Pandolfo and Jagr were enough to put the Bruins over the top.  

Yikes.

Come to think of it, I should stop complaining about Chiarelli’s courage in making this deal or when it took place. I think I should just be happy, because, for the first time in 2 years, Peter made a move that might actually work.