It was just over a year ago that a block-buster trade sent Tyler Seguin out of Boston and into Dallas for Loui Eriksson, Matt Fraser, Joe Morrow and Reilly Smith and a year later, the trade still sucks. The Bruins had an elite scorer on a team-friendly deal and they let it go for ‘good players.’
After getting nixed in the playoffs, going 3-18 on the power play in the second round and scoring just one goal in the last two games, it’s safe to say the Bruins needed some scoring. Seguin averaged over a point per game and got 37 goals last season – more than Loui Eriksson and Reilly Smith combined. Yeah, the Bruins were 3rd in goals per game during the regular season, but we gauge success by the playoffs in Boston.
The problem isn’t just the scoring because obviously the trading of Seguin left them no choice, but to sign Iginla to make up for the scoring and simultaneously fill Nathan Horton’s position. I may be connecting dots that shouldn’t be, but I would argue the trading of Seguin made it necessary for the Bruins to sign Iginla. Iginla and Seguin are both right-handed shots and they both are primarily scorers, though Iginla is a better all-around player than Seguin is.
The Bruins got Iginla on a sick deal, where he only made serious cash if he produced, but still Iginla is just latching on to teams that can win him a championship. My only point is, you could have gotten a more defensive-minded (and therefore cheaper) winger on the first line if you have Seguin on the second line with Marchand and Bergeron taking some of the scoring load off.
The trade-off is really between Iginla, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser and Loui Eriksson. To get an elite scorer in the NHL it costs serious money and the more the cap goes up, the more Seguin’s contract looks like a steal. Seguin makes $5.75 million per season against the cap on a contract that takes him until 2019. The combination of the three players the Bruins got in return is about the same, plus Iginla’s deal, in which he reached all his bonus incentives and was worth $6 million.
In short, trading away Seguin is part of why the Bruins are in cap jail and can’t resign Torey Krug, or Reilly Smith for that matter. Instead, the chemistry between Marchand and Seguin was broken and Loui Eriksson was on the second line along with a combination of others and it just didn’t work.
The fact that Iginla reached his incentives, paired with Loui Eriksson’s $4.25 million contract put the Bruins where they are cap-wise. The truth is a lot hinged on Loui Eriksson producing and he didn’t and that’s why the trade is lost for the Bruins for now. Seguin’s also still a young developing player and in his first year with the Stars, he posted a career-high in goals scored with 37. Though the deal can’t be final-graded just yet, it’s clear to me where it’s heading.
Seguin got dealt because he scored one goal in 22 post-season games, in which the Bruins made it to the Stanley Cup. He also got dealt for off-ice issues seemingly, which is stupid. The Bruins were obviously pissed at the lack of production and the off-ice distractions, but they and the fans against Seguin missed the fact he was heavily involved in the offense shooting it 70 times, or 6th most in the NHL during that stretch. The lack of scoring wasn’t for lack of effort.
I expect Eriksson to have a better season because he’s with better talent on the first line. However, unless Eriksson steps up huge this season, it seems like the Bruins traded away an elite talent for nice players and that’s never a successful trade-off to me.