One of the first big moves by Stars General Manager Jim Nill was to trade for dynamic center Tyler Seguin in 2013.
He was heralded as one of the league’s brightest stars (no pun intended).
However, in a surprising deal, Boston grew tired of the young centers antics off the ice and dealt him to Dallas.
The deal involved the Stars receiving Seguin, Richard Peverley and defenseman Ryan Button for Loui Eriksson, and prospects Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser and Joe Morrow.
None of the players sent to Boston are still involved with the Bruins organization.
Seguin has scored more than 130 goals and been to the playoffs twice during his four years as a Star.
Nill, though, has a decision to make regarding Seguin, 24, as his contract expires after the 2018-19 season. And if the past off-seasons are any indication, Seguin will command a massive deal, probably around $10 million a season.
But that begs the questions, should Dallas really consider dealing one of its marquee players?
Seguin, along with Stars captain Jamie Benn, gives Dallas a one-two punch comparable to any team in the league.
All evidence has shown Seguin is happy in Dallas, and fans have reciprocated those feelings, as Seguin’s No. 91 Victory Green uniform litters the American Airlines Center.
Several factors are at play when it comes to bringing back No. 91. in two seasons.
Dallas made a splash this off season when former coach Ken Hitchcock was brought back to lead the Stars.
Hitchcock and former coach Lindy Ruff’s coaching style and philosophy couldn’t be more different. Ruff pushed puck possession, offensive pressure and puck movement.
Hitch’ preaches tight-checking hockey, winning the neutral zone, defense and two-way hockey.
How will Seguin adapt to a more structured system? Seguin is indeed talented enough to play a full 200-foot game, but will he commit himself to putting in the effort on the defensive end like he does in the offensive zone?
If he and Hitchcock don’t see eye-to-eye and Seguin is unhappy with his role, that could lead to Nill being forced to look for suitor for Seguin.
The almighty dollar.
Seguin has two years left on the six-year, $34.5 million dollar deal he signed with Boston shortly before being traded in 2013.
He will make $6 million and $6.5 million each year for the next two seasons, respectively, with a cap hit of $5.75 million a season.
Dallas will have some big contracts on the books that extend beyond 2019-20, which is the year of Seguin’s UFA status.
Some of those deals include: Benn ($9.5 million annually), Alexander Radulov ($6.25 million annually), Martin Hanzal ($4.75 million annually), John Klinbgerg ($4.25 million annually) and Ben Bishop ($4.9 million annually).
That’s $29.6 million wrapped up in five players during that 2019-20 off-season.
Would Seguin’s deal cost Dallas more than what they are paying Benn, who is the face of the franchise?
And I’m sure there would be a suitor for his services, at a very, very high price.
This has more to do with the team’s performance, than Seguin’s.
Dallas is coming off its worse season in more than 15 years. The Stars won just 33 games, a year after winning more than 50 games and capturing the Central Division title.
Seguin had his worse year in Dallas last season, scoring just 26 goals and finished the year with a minus-15 rating – the worst of his career.
Nill restocked the cupboard this offseason, acquiring Hanzal, Radulov, Bishop and defenseman Marc Methot.
Expectations are once again high in Dallas. However, if Dallas’ reload is to fall flat, would Seguin seek greener pastures?
If Dallas cannot return to the postseason over the next two years, Nill may (and I stress may, strongly) be forced to deal one of his original building blocks in Dallas.