Tyler Seguin, Shawn Horcoff

Dallas’ X-Factor: Tyler Seguin


Perhaps the biggest move of the summer came when the Dallas Stars acquired young star Tyler Seguin from the Boston Bruins in a blockbuster seven-player deal. While there were other players of varying kinds, the one that brings the most questions is Seguin.

Seguin’s time in Boston ended in controversy as Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli talked at length about his need to essentially grow up. That was followed by quotes from Seguin’s mother saying the Bruins made up stories and rumors of Seguin being under watch during the playoffs to make sure he didn’t wind up partying to all hours.

After all that drama, he finds himself in Dallas and with an opportunity to prove to the Bruins they gave up too quickly on a 21-year-old kid who may have been taking advantage of his celebrity. The question here is: Will that happen? If it does, the Stars could reap the benefits for years to come.

Check out what Seguin did in his first three NHL seasons after being the second overall pick in the 2010 draft.

2010-11:  74 GP  11 G  11 A  12:13 ATOI (average time on ice)
2011-12:  81 GP  29 G  38 A 16:56 ATOI
2012-13:  48 GP  16 G  16 A 17:01 ATOI

His production last season put him on pace for similar numbers to his 11-12 season and with offense being at a premium in Dallas, that’s huge. The 67 points he had that season would’ve put him second on Dallas behind Jamie Benn’s 71. Heck, his 32 points last season would’ve been good enough for second on the team as well.

Obviously coming to Dallas puts him in a new system with new focus on what to do, but it’s hard to think that Seguin’s off-ice “issues” would be enough to derail what he’s shown he could do. Stars GM Jim Nill has confidence in Seguin and that along with Lindy Ruff’s support might be all he needs.

Panarin impresses ‘Hawks with his preseason debut

Artemi Panarin
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Will Artem Panarin‘s overwhelming success in the KHL translate to North America? The 23-year-old forward has a lot to prove, but his first big test was a success.

Playing on a line with Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov, Panarin made his preseason debut in Chicago’s finale on Saturday. He registered two assists while giving his teammates reason to be optimistic about him.

“For not being on the ice he looks really relaxed. He’s great with the puck, has nice moves and I think we’ll see a lot of this,” Marian Hossa told CSN Chicago. “He has unbelievable skill. People here in Chicago are going to have a good time watching this guy dangling.”

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was impressed by Panarin as well and liked that line as a whole.

The fact that the trio seemed to hit it off quickly has to come as a relief after an upper-body injury prevented Panarin from getting the most out of this year’s training camp. At the end of the day though, the fact that he was able to at least get in one preseason contest is a big silver lining. How smoothly his adjustment goes from here is still a big X-factor, but at least now he’s going into the regular season with a better idea of what to expect.

Panarin is attempting to establish himself in the NHL after leading the KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg to a championship last year. He was the team’s scoring leader, topping ex-NHL star Ilya Kovalchuk.

Gustavsson secures one-year contract with Bruins

Jonas Gustavsson
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There was stiff competition for the backup goaltending job in Boston, but with a signing this afternoon, it seems likely that the matter has been resolved.

The Boston Bruins announced that Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It’s a one-way contract, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin.

That contract is still small enough that the Bruins could bury it in the minors if they so desire, but it does set him apart from his last competitor for the goalie position, Jeremy Smith, who has a two-way deal. The fact that Boston went this route seems to imply that Gustavsson will serve as Tuukka Rask‘s understudy, although both netminders attended Sunday’s practice.

In Smith, the Bruins would be getting a 26-year-old goaltender who was dominant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, but has no NHL experience. By contrast Gustavsson, 30, has played in almost 150 NHL games.

Boston sent Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban to the minors last week, but an argument could be made that either one of them is worthy of the backup job. However, both of them have a lot of potential and it’s not surprising that the Bruins felt they were better served by staying in the minors where they can play regularly and focus on honing their game.