The pressure is on Tyler Seguin this season, and it involves more than him proving he can play center at the NHL level.
Seguin will be under the microscope just as much off the ice as on the ice in his first season with the Dallas Stars. While the spotlight won’t be shining nearly as bright as it did in Boston, Seguin will now be dealing with a reputation.
That reputation, thanks to actions of his own combined with some questionable social media behavior, is one of a party-hard kid who’s yet to mature. Seguin’s exit from Boston was an unceremonious one, as rumors swirled about his off-ice behavior leading up to and after his July 4 trade to the Stars. Now he’s out to prove he’s not what many are starting to think he is.
“In the end, I know I made wrong choices and bad decisions,” Seguin told USA Today. “But the things I won’t man up to are things that aren’t true.”
Those “things that aren’t true,” Seguin insists, are claims that he’s someone who loves the nightlife a little more than maybe he should.
“I was the only single guy and I had a microscope on me [in Boston],” Seguin said. “If I was out eating dinner and stayed around and had a beer on a Tuesday night when we played two days later, then it was said, ‘He’s a partier.’”
It will likely be much easier for Seguin to shed that reputation — accurate or not — in Dallas. It’s clear that interest in hockey in the Dallas/Fort Worth area pales in comparison to that in Boston. Seguin’s every step on and off the ice likely won’t be dissected like it was in Boston. That alone should help Seguin adjust to life in a new city and with a new team. To his credit, however, the 21-year-old is coming in looking to win over a new dressing room and a new fan base.
“First, I want to earn the respect of my teammates,” Seguin told USA Today. “That’s a big thing for me because I don’t know many of them … and obviously I want to prove something to my coaches and the Dallas fans. In Boston, I was connected to the fans. I want to find that in Dallas.”
Playing well will certainly endear him to Stars fans, but keeping his nose clean away from the rink may be even more important, especially if his top priority is earning the respect of his new teammates.