The trade for Tyler Seguin just days after the NHL Draft was perhaps one of the boldest moves the Dallas Stars franchise has ever made, trading away a franchise cornerstone in Loui Eriksson in order to acquire a true No. 1 center who is just 21-years old.
For many reasons, which have been discussed time and again the past month or so, the trade itself was both inspiring and controversial. For many, however, the acquisition of Seguin signaled to Dallas Stars fans that this was a team serious about winning, about competing and improving and serious about remaking the leadership core of the team.
It's expected that Jamie Benn will soon be named captain of the Dallas Stars, and already there have emerged several young players taking up the mantle of leadership in the locker room. After years of an older veteran core of players running the team, the franchise is now being handed over to players such as Alex Chiasson, Brenden Dillon, Benn, Seguin, Cody Eakin and rising prospects such as Brett Ritchie, Jamie Oleksiak, Jack Campbell and Valeri Nichushkin.
Despite the number of older veteran players brought on board the past few years, make no mistake -- this is a franchise squarely focused on youth and developing a winning and successful franchise around the growth of that young core together over the coming years.
At the center of that leadership core sits Tyler Seguin. While he may not be named captain this season, there's no doubt that the young center will be tasked with taking on a larger leadership role than he's ever had since coming into the NHL. Seguin is now a default leader on this hockey team, the franchise's No. 1 center who will constantly get compared to Mike Modano -- for better or worse -- and it's a role that he never came close to in Boston.
Tyler Seguin is fully prepared for the pressure.
Talking with Kevin McGran of The Star, Seguin said he's excited about this new opportunity and that he's hungry to call upon his experiences in Boston to help him lead this young Dallas Stars team into the future.
"I know what it's like to taste it (the Stanley Cup)," said Seguin. "I know what it's like to lose it. I don't know the taste of not making the playoffs, and I hope I never do.
"I think the taste for success has made me more driven as a player. Even being young, I hope to bring a lot of that experience to a locker room."
Seguin would continue, saying his track record shows he has what it takes to be a leader on the team.
"In Boston, there were a lot of great players, a lot of veterans, guys who have seen a lot," said Seguin. "I want to earn my way around Dallas, (taking a) young leadership role. If you look at my resume, it has those things required to make me a leader with what I've been through already.
"Growing up, in juniors, I was a guy that led by example, I'm still pretty young in this league, but going to the Cup finals and winning it in my first year, then losing this year, I feel like I know a lot, what it takes, what it tastes like, how the team has to be to get to certain areas."
Seguin came to Dallas with plenty of question marks regarding his maturity and his approach off the ice, criticisms that can only be addressed with proof that shows he's much more than what the media in Boston would have you believe. To accomplish that, he'll have to prove himself on and off the ice with the weight of the franchise squarely on his shoulders and many players throughout NHL history have withered under that sort of scrutiny.
For his sake, Seguin has said all the right things since the trade and has shown nothing but the best attitude about the fresh start he's receiving. He is hungry to take on a leadership role and ready for the pressure that comes along with it; now all he has to do is just get out on the ice and prove it.
The Dallas Stars had long had some of the worst jerseys not just in the NHL, but in the entire realm of sports in North America. The plain black and white jerseys just weren't cutting it as a definable identity for the franchise, and so the franchise made the big move the green jerseys we'll be seeing on the ice in less than a month.
This year's Uni Watch from ESPN jersey guru Paul Lukas is now out, and the Dallas Stars have jumped significantly in the standings thanks to the changes that were made. In the NHL, Dallas jumps 17 spots to No. 12 on the list, and is ranked No. 56 out of 122 teams across the NHL, MLB, NBA and NFL. For what it's worth, the Stars were ranked above the Mavericks and Rangers and below the Cowboys. [ESPN]
Mike Heika profiles Antoine Roussel. [DMN Stars Blog]
The NHL has hired Patrick Burke and Brian Leetch to join the Department of Player Safety. [NHL.com]
There will be no Alumni game at the NHL Stadium series between the Ducks and Kings. [LA Kings Insider]