The Boston area media gave former Bruin Tyler Seguin quite the treatment on his way out of town in exchange for Loui Eriksson. Now the Bruins front office are having their say publicly (and a little more frankly this time) following the release of NESN's new show, "Behind the B."
The program is an all-access show that will detail the inner workings of the Bruins for the 2013-2014 season. The first episode detailed their off-season, starting with considerations of what to do under the league's lowered cap and talk of how to get under it.
Enter the subject of Tyler Seguin, the discussion of whom is entered into public record here rather bluntly and unapologetic.
The relevant portions are relatively early on in the first 15 minutes or so -
The video makes a few things clear. Chiarelli starts one of the many discussions about Seguin with a lengthy lead-in about the salary cap and needing to sign Horton, or a player like Horton if not possible. The conclusion is inexorable - They need to shed significant salary. That's reason number one.
After identifying the need to free up space, the conversation immediately turns to Seguin, seemingly. The off-ice issues are hardly touched in the video but were certainly a factor.
"We'll miss his speed," one of the Bruins officials said. "In the regular season we'll miss his speed. But  if we get guys that we think we can win with, then it is what it is. We're winning here. We're not babysitting."
Babysitting. And "in the regular season." That's a carefully chosen verbiage.
The other part made clear is that discussion started before the draft, just days or perhaps hours following the Bruins' elimination in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Excerpt: (Thanks to Erin for this and the other transcriptions/quotes)
Gretzky (Bruins scout): I see work - hard - from Seguin, but a half a second late, and he won't pay the price. I thought he worked hard, and I give him credit. I agree with Denis that he's learning. I thought he learned, like, in the playoffs.
Bradley: He's not a physical player. He relies on all on his skill.
Chiarelli: Does that sound familiar?
Bradley: Yeah it does. (TV edit here)
Bradley: He's a star player. There's no doubt. But does he fit with our culture?
The word culture was thrown around quite a bit. The word physicality was used repeatedly in the video. They didn't like his disposition to rely on skill rather than play what they deem to be their style. (Aside: Loui Eriksson is one of the league's most hit players, never hits back.)
Ultimately, after learning Horton would not be back, they decided to move him anyway if the right deal was there.
"I just think there's too many red flags with him," said Scott Bradley, Bruins Director of Player Personnel when the decision was made. "I don't like the way his game is going. He hasn't proven that he's tough enough where he plays our style of game. I don't know if a leopard ever changes its spots but he's going to have to."
It seemed Chiarelli was hesitant to do it. More hesitant than Bradley, anyway, who appeared to be more willing.
As direct as this was, imagine all the discussions that were cut from the film even more so. Still, it's a fascinating look into what goes on behind the scenes. There's anguish in all 30 such rooms. Those moves are not made lightly.
This won't change any opinions in Frisco. They like Seguin, they think he can help them. Stars fans can only hope Seguin will continue to use the media circus surrounding his departure as motivation, or better yet, just ignore it altogether.
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