While I don’t fault new hockey fans for struggling with the nuances of the game, it’s pretty easy to spot a newbie. Take a typical fantasy hockey draft, for insistence; you know someone isn’t fully aware when they draft Nikolai “Ka-bib-ulin” as one of their goalies.
Boston Bruins fans impressed their first round draft pick (and potential future star?) Tyler Seguin during the team’s development camp when an usually large number of fans showed up to the arena. NHL.com captures the scene and some of the experiences of the young rookie-to-be.
Chants of “Say-gin, Say-gin,” echoed through the rink as the prospects and hopefuls took the ice each day, and got louder every time the 18-year-old phenom touched the puck or even stepped on the ice for a shift.
“I was surprised, and was like ‘Wow! This is a big crowd,'” Seguin said with a laugh. “It just shows this is a good market and there’s a lot of support here and the fans are great. Usually if anyone’s talking about me it’s like ‘Seguini’ or ‘Seegin’ or something. These guys, they have it right on point.”
Seguin was honored to have young Bruins fans paying homage to him and asking for autographs, but he didn’t expect any special treatment from the team or his fellow prospects.
“I thought it was pretty cool, a little kid saying my name,” he said of a youngster who greeted him the first day of camp. “Other than that, there’s no special treatment here. Everyone is treated fair. I don’t think it matters if you go first round or fifth round, everyone coming in here has the same opportunity to earn their spot and that’s just what I’m trying to do.”
(Eh, I’d say where you are drafted matters a little bit, but Seguin scores Typical Hockey Player Modesty points nonetheless.)
While the team is struggling to find salary cap sanity – and actually hasn’t officially signed Seguin yet, which is surprising considering the fact that rookies have a maximum salary in the NHL – the young center could help an offensively deprived Bruins team. I’m in the “Don’t panic with Marc Savard” camp because as long as he’s reasonably healthy, his contract is a steal. There’s no doubt that Boston needs to make a move, though, and it might just be Savard who gets traded.
If that happens, Seguin will have plenty of pressure on him, but the young player is saying all the right things at the moment. Frankly, I think Bruins fans have every reason to be excited.