Happy July everyone!
Since it’s the dead days of the NHL calendar we at BostonPucks.com have been off barbecuing and vacationing instead of sitting at a keyboard or ripping it up on Twitter like we usually do. But we still always make a little room to blog when needed. And in my free time, believe it or not, I get to thinking.
I am sure by now everyone saw the image on Twitter or Instagram of crossed off names of Toronto natives who have chosen not to sign with the Leafs when they could have. But finally the first name not crossed off was John Tavares. Tyler Seguin was the next name on the list.
So in my sleepy summer offseason thinking I wondered, would the Leafs make a run at Seguin if he hit the market next offseason?
Now the obvious answer is no. With the signing of Tavares and glaring holes on defense it doesn’t make much sense for the Leafs to focus their resources on another #91.
But…. what about a reunion with Boston? Hmmmm? Hmmmm? Sure, it’s a pipe dream. But with no real hockey being played right now I have time to dream.
Tyler Seguin, if he hits the market ala Tavares, will be the premier big fish in the free agent pond next summer. He will be finishing up a cap friendly 6-year deal that he signed in Boston before being shipped out of town for acting like a normal 21-year-old that crusty suits didn’t like. Six years after that disastrous trade that sent Seguin to the Dallas Stars on America’s birthday, could he actually return?
It seems pretty clear the Bruins are looking for a younger center to replace David Krejci by participating in the John Tavares sweepstakes. If they had won that sweepstakes two-thirds of the B’s David’s would have been gone. I still think that is a very real possibility a year from now if Seguin tests the market. And what is great about that scenario is it just takes money, not prospects or futures, for Seguin Part II to happen.
Regardless of whether the Bruins can take a run a Seguin, I feel like this will be Krejci’s last campaign in Boston. Through the whole Tavares drama we found out that the Bruins might have been shopping David Krejci as far back as the trade deadline. Then they openly court Tavares in the offseason to essentially replace Krejci. The writing is on the wall. Krejci’s days as a Bruin are numbered.
Krejci has three years left on his contract that carries an annual cap hit of $7.25 million. The actual money he will be paid is $7.5 million this coming season and $7 for the final 2 seasons. Not easy money to move. But if the rumors are true then there is/was some interest out there for his services and I am sure the Bruins would love to get out from under that contract if there was a replacement available.
Krejci is a fine player, one that will have been far too under appreciated when people look back after he’s gone. But he is not Seguin. When former GM Peter Chiarelli basically chose Krejci over Seguin it was a mistake. They gave up on a 21-year-old elite star in the making playing on a great contract. Where would the Blackhawks be if they had given up on Patrick Kane when he was 21? The Bruins would look much different today if the decision was the other way around.
Now, just like Krejci, I would assume this coming season will be David Backes last with the Bruins. I actually think Backes will be easier to move next offseason than this offseason. Here’s why:
On July 1, 2019 the Bruins will pay Backes a $3 million signing bonus. That would leave only $5 million of the $30 million contract left to pay in the final two years of the contract. Although, Backes’ cap hit would still be $6 million the final two years the team only has to pay $5 million actual dollars. This would make Backes very trade-able. Plus Backes’ no movement clause changes to a modified no-trade clause.
If Tyler Seguin made it to the free market there are no guarantees he would want to come back to Boston, but I ask why wouldn’t Seguin want to come back to Boston?
For starters, it is a new regime for the most part. Granted some of the front office characters are still there, but there is certainly a new attitude. Assistant GM Scott Bradley might need to appoligize for his comments in Behind the B, but hopefully that would not be a deal breaker. He still has buddies on the team with Marchand and Bergeron. Also if you follow Tyler Seguin on social media he was hanging out with David Pastrnak back in the summer of 2016 in the Czech Republic and has developed a friendship with him.
It also seems like he comes back to Boston every summer to “hang out.”
Seguin would not have the pressure of being the #1 center (yet) and have to play against the other teams top line. He would be able to play with studs like Jake DeBrusk, Pastrnak, and whichever of the numerous blossoming prospects blooms next.
Seguin has only scored 173 goals in the 5 years away from Boston. That is an average of 34.6 goals a season. He also has 384 points over that period of time. That is an average of 78.6 points per season. Legit production for sure.
I could break out my number 19 Seguin shirt again, assuming my gut fits in it still, and the number 19 Seguin toddler jersey could be passed down to another worthy child. It would be so fucking awesome if Don Sweeney could pull it off. It would be the equivalent of when Labron went to Miami, and then came back to Cleveland, saying it was like going off to college since he never left Cleveland until then.
The Bruins haven’t made it out of the second round without Tyler Seguin. With Seguin, granted he didn’t do much other than in the Tampa series in 2011, the Bruins went to two Stanley Cup finals in three years. Seguin in Dallas has had two playoff appearances with one series win.
The Bruins might also get to next offseason not need to go out and get an expensive replacement for David Krejci. It depends on who wins the third line center position this season. Could Jack Studnicka, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, or Trent Frederic grab the third line role and develop into Krejci’s replacement for 2019-2020 season? That is a possibility, but I would not bet on that. I see Studnicka as a future number 2 center, but I see JFK and Frederic as number 3’s.
That is why these two love birds need to meet at the free agency alter and renew their vows on July 1st, 2019.
Come home to Boston, Tyler. The fans never wanted you to leave. You and the Bruins are both better together.
Make it happen, Donny. It could be the ultimite redemption story.
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