Apparently those Tyler Seguin trade rumors at the NHL Entry Draft were more than just talk.
The Boston Bruins have sent Seguin, Rich Peverley and minor-leaguer Ryan Button to Dallas in exchange for Loui Eriksson, Joe Morrow (a key return from the Brenden Morrow trade), 2009 third-rounder Reilly Smith and 23-year-old winger Matt Fraser.
The biggest storyline is Boston moving Seguin, the former No. 2 overall pick and key acquisition from the highly-publicized Phil Kessel trade.
While the return for Seguin is significant, Boston trading away its leading scorer from two years ago is a major gamble.
Seguin, who turned 21 in January, has superstar-level talent. That said, Boston 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.”
This came after Seguin slogged through a disappointing playoff, scoring just one goal in 22 games while being reduced to third-line duty.
Peverley, meanwhile, had a tough 2013 campaign, scoring just 18 points in 47 games while boasting an ugly minus-9 rating. His ice time went down to 15:15 per night and he had just two points in 21 playoff games.
CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty confirmed Peverley waived his no-trade clause to join the Stars.
Peverley had been a solid contributor for Boston prior to the lockout-shortened season. He scored 12 points during the ’11 Cup run and averaged over 21 minutes per game in Boston’s first-round loss to Washington in 2011-12.
As for Dallas, this marks the first bold, signature move from general manager Jim Nill.
“Tyler is a dynamic player that will be a part of our core group for a long time to come,” Nill said in a statement. “A player at his age, position and talent level are extremely difficult to acquire and we’re thrilled to bring him into our organization.”
While there is a history between Boston and Dallas from the Jaromir Jagr deal, that move was orchestrated by ex-Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk. Nill’s only other significant transaction thus far was acquiring defenseman Sergei Gonchar from Ottawa, then inking him to a two-year, $10 million deal.
It’s likely that Seguin’s and Peverley’s former Bruins teammate, Mark Recchi, had a role in this deal — he was hired as one of Dallas’ front-office advisors in mid-January.
In Eriksson, Boston gets an elite winger who shoots left, but can play both sides.
He scored at least 70 points in each of his last three full seasons (2009-12), made the 2011 NHL All-Star Game and scored 29 points in 48 games last year.
Eriksson, 27, has spent his entire seven-year career in Dallas and served as one of the Stars’ alternate captains. He has waived his no-trade clause to accept the move to Boston, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.
Important to note 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 next season.
Regarding the other pieces Boston acquired:
— Morrow, 20, was Pittsburgh’s first-round pick (23rd overall) at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He split last season between AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Texas, and tied for the Stars’ team goalscoring lead in the playoffs.
— Smith, 22, scored nine points in 37 games for Dallas last year, and 35 points in 45 games for AHL Texas.
— Fraser appeared in 12 games for Dallas last year, but did finish second in the AHL in goals last year, with 33.