Fireworks weren’t the only thing that made a boom sound on Independence Day. There were fireworks in hockey today as the Dallas Stars traded for Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley, and Ryan Button for Loui Ericksson, Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith, and Matt Fraser.
Boston is taking a huge gamble by trading their leading scorer from two seasons ago at age 21. The 2010 No. 2 overall draft selection showed skill and superstar potential his first two seasons in the league. But according to Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli recently expressed concern about Seguin’s maturity level and ability to grow as a player.
“He’s got to commit his mind and focus to the one task at hand,” Chiarelli said, per the Boston Globe. “He’s got to become more of a professional. You know what? I can say that about a lot of 21-year-olds. I know he got criticized for playing on the periphery and all that stuff. He did.
“He’s got to commit to being a professional and focusing on the game. Simple as that.” During the regular season this year he put up respectable numbers, with 16 goals and assists each. However he did slump during the playoffs as he was demoted to third line duty with one goal in 22 games.
While the Bruins soared to the Stanley Cup Final, Peverley had a difficult 2013 season with the B’s. With 18 points in 47 games while sporting a brutal minus-9 rating. He then faced decreased ice time and scored only 2 points in 21 playoff games. He waived his no-trade clause to make the transfer to Dallas.
New Dallas general manager Jim Nill is making a splash with roster moves to upgrade the roster he inherited from Joe Nieuwendyk. Prior to this trade he acquired defenseman Sergei Gonchar from Ottawa. Nill is looking to include Seguin as part of the team’s core of players. “A player at his age, position and talent level are extremely difficult to acquire and we’re thrilled to bring him into our organization,” he said in a statement.
In getting a young player to build around, he departs with alternate captain Ericksson. The 27-year-old had spent his entire seven-year career in Dallas, where he reached 70+ points in each of the last three full seasons. Like Peverley, the 2011 NHL All-Star waived his no-trade clause rights to make the deal to Boston happen.
Boston does save a little bit of money in the trade, as Eriksson has three years remaining on his six-year, $25.5 million deal, and his average annual cap hit — $4.25 million — is significantly less than Seguin’s $5.75 million, which kicks in this fall. The Bruins also had to find ways to find money to pay goalie Tuukka Rask (restricted) and center Patrice Bergeron (unrestricted after 2013-14).
The prospects the Bruins receive in the trade are all between 20-23 years old. All three have seen time with the Texas Stars’ the AHL affiliate. Smith and Fraser seen action with the big club last season while Morrow, 20, tied for the Stars’ team goalscoring lead in the AHL playoffs. It’s also noteworthy that Morrow was Pittsburgh’s first round pick (No. 23 overall) in 2011. He was with the Penguins AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before being a part in the trade that sent Brendan Morrow from Dallas to Pittsburgh in March.