NHL: Which Team Won in the Tyler Seguin Trade?
On July 4, 2013, the Boston Bruins traded 21-year old Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars. The trade shipped Seguin, Rich Peverley, and Ryan Button to Dallas for Loui Eriksson, Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith, and Matt Fraser. At the time of the trade, Seguin was preparing to play his first season on a six-year deal worth $34.5 million. Yes, there were six players involved in the trade, but the centerpiece was then, and is now, Seguin.
The Bruins drafted Seguin with the second pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. They received that pick as part of the deal for trading Phil Kessel to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2009. Seguin started the 2010-11 season in Boston, scoring 22 points (11G, 11A) in 74 games. At the end of his rookie year, Seguin did not receive a single vote for the Calder Trophy. However, his sophomore season would prove to be an entirely different beast.
He played in 81 games that year and scored 67 points (29G, 38A), leading the Bruins in scoring. During the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign, Seguin scored 32 points (16G, 16A) and finished third on the Bruins in scoring. He seemed poised to be a force for the Bruins for years to come. That, obviously, was not to be.
Days before the trade, Bruins general manager, Peter Chiarelli, said, “He’s got to commit to being a professional and focusing on the game. Simple as that.” Since the trade Seguin has developed into the player the Bruins hoped he was when they drafted him. You don’t hear any talk out of Dallas about Seguin being unprofessional; all you hear is talk about how he is nearly leading the league in points and how the Stars are playing as a complete team — a team that is first in the NHL. So, let’s look at how the trade played out for the two teams involved.
After the trade, Loui Eriksson’s first two seasons with Boston were not good. He went from scoring more than 70 points in three consecutive seasons to scoring 37 and 47. However, things are looking up for Eriksson this year. He has 24 points (10G, 14A) in 26 games and is third on the team in scoring, trailing only David Krejci (27 points) and Patrice Bergeron (25 points). If he can maintain his pace, Eriksson will be the shining light of this trade from the Bruins’ side of things — but was it worth giving up Seguin?
As a 23-year-old defenseman, Joe Morrow is still trying to find his way in the NHL. He played 15 games for the Bruins last season, but spent the majority of his time with the AHL’s Providence Bruins. This season he missed time with the flu and was also a healthy scratch for several games. In the 11 games he has played with Boston this year, he’s scored one goal and one assist. The jury’s still out on Morrow, but you have to think that the Bruins were looking for a player who could play in the NHL with some regularity when they gave up Seguin.
Reilly Smith played in 37 games with the Stars in 2012-13, scoring 9 points (3G, 6A) before heading to the Bruins. In his first season with Boston, Smith did well, playing in all 82 games and scoring 51 points (20G, 31A). He fell off a bit last year, dropping to 40 points (13G, 27A) before being traded in the off-season to the Florida Panthers for Jimmy Hayes. Hayes has scored 12 points (4G, 8A) for the Bruins this year.
Matt Fraser spent most of his time playing in the AHL with the Stars organization. In his two seasons with the Texas Stars, he totaled 101 points (70G, 31A). When Fraser moved to Boston, he played for both the Bruins and their AHL team during the 2013-14 campaign. After a short run in the 2014-15 season, the Bruins waived him and the Edmonton Oilers picked him up. The Oilers did not give Fraser a qualifying offer at the end of the season, so the Winnipeg Jets signed him to a two-way contract. He currently plays in the AHL with the Manitoba Moose.
The key piece in this trade is obviously Tyler Seguin. He has 39 points (15G, 24A) so far this season, putting him in second place in NHL scoring (a tie with teammate Jamie Benn). In his two full seasons with the Stars he has put up point totals of 84 and 77 and been named to the All-Star team in both seasons. If he keeps up his current pace he will be in the running for the Art Ross Trophy and maybe even the Hart Memorial Trophy.
Rich Peverley had some years on him when he was moved to Dallas, but they weren’t bad years. He was a solid third-line center with a great face-off winning percentage. Unfortunately, Peverley collapsed on the Stars’ bench in March 2014. He underwent surgery for an irregular heartbeat as well as surgery to fix structural damage to his heart. While attempting a comeback with the Stars, Peverley realized that he wouldn’t be able to return to the ice. He officially retired in September of this year. Peverley is now a part of the Star front-office team.
Button played 26 games with the Texas Stars, as well as 33 games in the ECHL in 2013-14. When his contract with the Stars expired, he signed up to play in Germany with the Iserlohn Roosters.
And the winner is?
Clearly, the Stars won this trade. Who cares that Seguin is the only player currently in the NHL on the Stars’ side of the trade? He is a stud, a player well-worth the $5.75 million cap hit the Stars took with his contract. The only way the team doesn’t make the playoffs this year is if there is a total and complete collapse of their play, which seems highly unlikely.
As for the Bruins, they’re currently in the playoff hunt, but hold the last spot with four teams within three points of their total. So, they are by no means a lock to make the post-season. If the Bruins do miss the playoffs this year, it will be the second consecutive year that they’ve missed the post-season, which hasn’t happened since the 2006 and 2007 seasons. No general manager is ever going to go on record and say they made a bad trade, but it’s clear that Chiarelli made a bad trade when he dealt Seguin to Dallas.
Statistics courtesy of NHL.com.