Even though he wears the uniform of the Dallas Stars now, Tyler Seguin is forever etched in Bruins lore.
His name is on the Stanley Cup (which he helped the team win in 2011), he was a first-round pick (No. 2 overall) in 2010, and during his time here, he was a heartthrob to young girls all over New England.
As much as Seguin looks back on his time here, he is focused on becoming a better professional hockey player. Despite his ups and downs as a Bruin — some of which led to his being traded along with Rich Peverley July 4 — Seguin said his time in Boston was special.
“There are so many great memories here,’’ said Seguin, who will face his former team at TD Garden Tuesday night. “Obviously, my first year being lucky enough to win the Stanley Cup, my second year going to my first All-Star Game, and leading the team in points there and, obviously, this past year, going to the Cup Final again, there’s some tremendous memories here.
“It’s a good feeling when I come here. I know I’m not actually part of Boston anymore but it will always be a part of me.’’
Seguin, 21, said he has learned from things he didn’t do correctly when he was in Boston and he has matured.
“There were obviously some decisions that I could’ve made differently,’’ he said. “But in the end, people make mistakes, everyone does. I don’t think I regret too much. I faced up to all the music already and I’ve moved on here and I’m very excited to be in Dallas.’’
When a young person’s learning curve is dissected in a very public way, it can be difficult, but Seguin said it’s a matter of growing up and into a role.
“I think I was just growing into a pro,’’ he said. “Obviously, I was a young guy here for a while before Dougie [Hamilton] came in. But any decisions I made never really affected my job — or ever affected my work ethic.’’
Seguin said the change has been beneficial for him.
“I feel like if I look at the player and the person I am today, it’s not the same as when I was in Boston,’’ he said. “I feel like I’ve improved and I have no limit on where I’m going to go. I look at my game and it’s a whole different situation, a whole different opportunity. I’m just trying to take advantage of it the best I can.’’
When asked if he felt the Bruins gave up on him, Seguin said no.
“I think they had their reasons [for the trade],’’ he said. “Whether you want to call it the [salary] cap, I don’t think you put it on one particular reason.
“I’ve moved on here, and I’m excited to be where I am. ‘Regret’ is not a word I’m using, really, when I look back. There was a process and, now, here we are.’’
This year has marked a significant transition in Seguin’s career as he moved from wing to center, and it hasn’t been without its struggles.
“It’s been a huge adjustment,’’ said Seguin. “There will be games where I will be doing well at the position and there will be a few where you’re not, so it’s just finding the consistency with me and learning as I go.’’
If there is one area that has proven to be the most challenging, it’s faceoffs.
“Obviously, Boston is a good faceoff team,’’ said Seguin. “For myself, I didn’t start off good on faceoffs and I got better. There were about five or six games where I was above 50 [percent] and [Sunday against Ottawa], I didn’t have a good game [0 for 13] so it’s just about finding consistency and finding a rhythm.
“It’s going to take time. I was a centerman growing up, but I wasn’t an NHL centerman, so I’m just trying to get better every day.’’
Bruins coach Claude Julien said it wasn’t his job to keep in touch with former players, but he wishes Seguin well.
“He’s a good young player,’’ said Julien. “I didn’t mind him here at all. He’s got a high skill level. There was a trade made and my job was to move on.”
One of Seguin’s closest friends on the Bruins was Brad Marchand. They keep in touch, and Marchand thinks Tuesday will be fun.
“It’s obviously a big day,’’ said Marchand. “He’s obviously a big name in this city and he was loved by the fans and a good personal friend to a lot of guys on this team. It will be different seeing him on the other side, but we’ve got to make sure we come out hard and get those 2 points.
“He’s getting his points and playing well. I think he’s adapting and I think he’s trying to learn from how things went down here, but he’s just trying to mature as a person and a player.’’
Dallas coach Lindy Ruff has seen many positives about Seguin.
“I think his play for us has been real good,’’ said Ruff. “Offensively, he’s got good numbers. Defensively, I think he’s played well. I think there are areas obviously he can keep trying to improve. But I think for playing center for the first time in a couple of years, Tyler’s done a nice job.’’
Ruff knows the faceoff circle hasn’t always been kind, but he believes Seguin can adapt.
“He’s had good nights and he’s had some tough ones,’’ said Ruff. “There’s nights even like [Sunday], which was a tough one, where I’d like to see him cheat more. I’d like to see him maybe get lower, maybe battle and even get kicked out. He’s had some real good nights for us; it’s the tough ones he has to battle through.’’
Ruff spoke to Julien over the summer about Seguin.
“Claude really liked him,’’ said Ruff. “Any young player, you’re going to have ups and downs with. Claude is a veteran at understanding that part of it. He had nothing but good things to say about Tyler.’’
Sticking with him
Ruff said he has no plans to move Seguin out of the pivot. At times he lines up as a wing if he is struggling in the faceoff circle, but other than that, center is where he will be.
“He’s been at center ice and he’s going to stay at center ice,’’ said Ruff. “It might be a little bit of a growing process, but that’s where we want to play him.’’
Peverley thinks the change in scenery has been good for Seguin.
“I’ve been really proud of him, to be honest,’’ said Peverley. “He’s playing really well. He’s kind of put it in the back in his mind and he’s being very professional about it.’’
Still, when a highly touted young player is traded for the first time, it can be a jarring experience.
“I’m sure it was, but it probably mentally made him tougher,’’ said Peverley. “He probably thought he was going to be [playing] for a long time in Boston. So, to get traded and go to a spot where maybe he’s a little bit more of a cornerstone, maybe a little bit more responsibility for him, is probably helping him.
“At the same time, he learned a tremendous amount because there are a lot of good professionals on the other side there.’’
When Seguin takes the ice Tuesday night, he won’t know what to expect from the fans.
“I’m excited for it, I saw some of the guys [Sunday] and it’s going to be a cool experience,’’ he said. “It’s a good feeling, there are so many great memories here.’’