He sent Phil Kessel away four years ago, and has now dealt budding star Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars. Kessel was just shy of 22 when he was moved; Seguin will be 22 in January.
I certainly don’t know all the details of the Kessel move, but there was clearly a clash with head coach Claude Julien at the time. As for Seguin, Chiarelli could not have been more transparent about his displeasure with the young Bruin, saying only days ago that, essentially, Seguin had to grow up.
He’ll have the opportunity to do that in Dallas now.
It’s an interesting decision by the Bruins to say the least. And it reminds me of a column I posted here at the end of April, before the playoffs got underway. I wondered aloud if Seguin would really begin to show what he had in the then upcoming playoffs, or whether he was beginning to trend as just another nice young player. (Click here to see that post.)
This is hardly the end for Seguin. He's awfully young and he may thrive in Dallas and prove any detractors “wrong”. But Chiarelli doesn’t seem to waste much time worrying about moving young guys that don’t show him they take being a Bruin seriously early in their careers.
He has lots of time for guys like Marchand, Chara, Seidenberg and Bergeron, who play hard all the time. Less, it seems, for kids with huge potential but not necessarily the attitude to match their skill level.
I guess from a Leaf standpoint, the question is: will this (finally) bring closure to the longstanding Kessel/Seguin discussion? Though they weren’t traded “for” each other, the deal was the highlight of Burke’s time here—and perhaps the most polarizing Leaf topic (and there were many) during his tenure as GM.
Kessel becomes a free-agent exactly a year from now. I think the Leafs will make every effort to sign him to a new deal this summer. I’m not sure how much the Bozak situation will play into that. We may soon find out.
For now, Kessel is very much a Leaf. Seguin is no longer a Bruin. The never-ending Kessel-Seguin debate is a thing of the past.
Or is it?