NHL Trade Rumors: Why Would Boston Trade Tyler Seguin?

Tyler Seguin
Tyler Seguin
Toronto Ontario CAN Boston Bruins forward Tyler Seguin 19 skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during game three of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at the Air Canada Centre Boston defeated Toronto 5 2 John E Sokolowski USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Boston Bruins Deal Tyler Seguin to Dallas Stars

For nearly the last week in the NHL rumor mill, there have been trade talks swirling around the Boston Bruins and that inquiries had been made into former #2 overall pick in 2010 Tyler Seguin. The thought was that with a seemingly top-heavy draft, the Bruins would want to move into the top of the first round, something like what Vancouver did with Cory Schneider.

What started as a seemingly ridiculous rumour – Seguin was the only player to have 15 goals, 150 shots and at least a +20 rating in the lockout-shortened season – seemed to gain a bit of validity when Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said, “He’s got to become more of a professional”.

What Chiarelli is talking about here are Seguin’s apparent character issues. Chiarelli’s concerns aren’t completely misguided, all you need to do to understand what he’s talking about his go to Google Images and type in “seguin party”, as I did here. We do need to remember, however, that this is a 21-year-old kid who was thrust into the NHL at the tender age of 18 and started his third full NHL season before he could legally drink alcohol in the country of his employment.

We can talk about where he might go or what the possible package might be – the above article linked to the Chiarelli quote has Tampa Bay as a possible landing spot. Considering the offensive firepower they already possess on top of drafting perhaps the top play-maker at the draft yesterday in Jonathan Drouin, that would be incredible from a fan’s standpoint. However, I’m a little more interested in seeing what the Bruins would be losing should Seguin happen to find himself in a new area code by next season.


Any Bruins fan reading this is already having nightmare flashbacks of Seguin’s playoff run this season. Having managed just one goal on 70 shots in the postseason, Seguin finished with a paltry 1.4 shooting percentage.

If you’re a forward in the NHL, it’s probably harder to only score one goal on 70 shots than it is to score five or six. I can’t tell you how unlucky this may be. On shots that a forward might typically take i.e. wrist shot, snap shot, backhand, the probability of a particular shot resulting in a goal increases the closer you get to the net.

I wanted to take a look at just how good or bad Seguin has been at even-strength during the regular season since he came into the NHL. I went ahead and compiled his even-strength data including shots, goals, shooting percentage (SH%) and average shot distance (ASD). I also did not count shots from the neutral zone for shots or shooting percentage, those typically are not attempts to score or create a chance, rather they are dump-ins for a line change or whistle.




Even-Strength Shots




Even-Strength Goals




Even-Strength SH%




Even-Strength ASD

34.8 ft

32.6 ft

32.2 ft


Through his first three seasons, Seguin has managed to improve his shot distance every year while averaging 10.5% shooting.

Seguin is improving his scoring prowess while maintaining a reasonably high shooting percentage at even-strength. In fact, for all the flack that Seguin gets, he’s outscoring the guy who was drafted first overall ahead of him in the 2010 NHL Draft, Taylor Hall, at even-strength 46-40 since they both came into the league. Not only that, Hall has taken 427 shots at even-strength, meaning he’s shot 9.4% at even-strength since coming into the league. So not only is Seguin scoring more often at even-strength than his comparable contemporary, he’s also been more efficient at it. I don’t hear a lot of people screaming for Taylor Hall’s head, probably because Edmonton’s power-play has been over 20% efficiency each of the last two years while Boston’s was 14.8% this year and 17.1% the year before (hence the 25-10 PP goal advantage Hall has over Seguin).

Puck Possession

The one sticking point for many people when evaluating Seguin is puck possession. I’ve written before how puck possession is the name of the game in hockey, and the Bruins have been one of the best teams at it the last couple of seasons.

Seguin has played most of the last two seasons with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, and that trio has formed one of the most formidable possession lines in the NHL; all three players have been in the Top-seven in the entire NHL among all regular forwards in On-Ice Corsi in both 2011-2012 and 2013. But that’s irrelevant to evaluating unless we know they can drive possession independent of each other.

WOWY Stats

Something I don’t mention a lot are WOWY stats: WOWY stands for Without You/With You, or how a Player X does with Player Y on the ice with him or Player Y not on the ice with him.

Never mind that Seguin led the Bruins in even-strength points/60 minutes of ice-time in 2011-2012, we want to know how he did with and without his line-mates, more specifically Bergeron.

GF/20 with Bergeron GF/20 without Bergeron CF% with Bergeron CF% without Bergeron
2011-2012 1.194 1.395 60.5% 56.8%
2012-2013 1.063 1.089 62% 54.5%

*GF/20 is goals for the team/20 minutes of even-strength play, CF% the percentage of all Corsi For events for the team while a player is on; all WOWY stats courtesy of stats.hockeyanalysis.com

So we see that when Seguin is on the ice without Bergeron, possession does decrease but Boston’s goal scoring rate increases in both cases. This is a two-way street as well; Bergeron’s CF% without Seguin in 2011-2012 was 56.9% and in 2013 it was 54.2%. So it appears that while Boston isn’t as exceptional at puck possession when they are apart, they seem to need each other to maintain an elite level of puck possession. Mind you, once you get to 55%-ish, it’s dominant anyway.


The NHL, like any professional sport (or profession for that matter) is littered with problems of character. In 2009, at the age of 21, Patrick Kane punched a cab driver over 20 cents. I wish I could make that stuff up.

What this seems to me from Chiarelli is a realization that Seguin’s $5.75M/season cap hit kicks in this year and with the likely loss of Nathan Horton and Jaromir Jagr, there are going to be some goals missing. Seguin will be making a little bit more money than John Tavares and a little less money than Hall, if you want to have an idea of what Boston might be expecting from Seguin this year.

Does Seguin have to become more of a “pro”? Probably, at least that’s what the size of his contract would indicate. But if Boston really is willing to give up on a player who has only scored six less even-strength goals than Rick Nash over the last two seasons at the tender age of 21, I’m sure there will be a long line of suitors.

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Michael Clifford
Michael Clifford was born and raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada and is a graduate of the Unviersity of New Brunswick. He writes about fantasy hockey and baseball for XNSports and FantasyTrade411.com. He can be reached on Twitter @SlimCliffy for any fantasy hockey questions. !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');