It was mostly a mere formality, but Tyler Seguin is officially a Bruin.
The Bruins confirmed Tuesday afternoon that their prized prospect had signed a three-year, entry-level deal. With the rookie salary cap in place, there wasn't a lot of room for haggling, but both sides can be relieved that no late issues emerged.
"These deals aren't overly difficult to do," said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli in a conference call to discuss the signing. "There are some nuances to them."
The Bruins did not release terms, but Seguin's deal is almost identical to the one No. 1 pick Taylor Hall signed with Edmonton last month. It took a little longer to finalize the details with Seguin, who was taken by the Bruins with the second overall pick in June, but he will also be making a base salary of $900,000 with bonuses that can push his total to $3.75 million.
"I just felt it was time to sign Tyler," said Chiarelli of the timing of the deal. "He's a high pick and he performed well in our development camp. I felt it was time to give him a little peace of mind and make him feel a part of our organization."
Seguin, 18, joins an organization that still has some issues to resolve, as the Bruins currently sit over the cap limit of $59.4 million. Boston will eventually have to shed some salary for compliance, but will not have to make an immediate move.
Teams are allowed to exceed the cap limit by 10 percent during the offseason, and the Bruins also have added flexibility once the season starts as they can place Marco Sturm on long-term injured reserve while he recovers from knee surgery. That gives them relief from his $3.5 million cap hit, at least until he is ready to return in November.
"Right now we can ice a team with 13-14 [forwards], seven [defensemen] and two goalies," said Chiarelli. "Right now I don't have to make any moves. … Right now we're over the cap, but we have a player, Marco Sturm, we can put on long-term injured reserve."
Chiarelli is also happy with the roster he has assembled, though he wouldn't rule out any further tinkering.
"It's a roster that I'm very happy with," said Chiarelli. "There are some spots for young players to earn spots.
"Things happen, things crop up," added Chiarelli. "You're never done until the opening day roster is filed."
The big question of the day is whether Seguin is ready to be a part of that opening night lineup or if he will need more seasoning in the junior ranks. Chiarelli has tried to temper expectations for Seguin since the draft but clearly expects the youngster to make the roster right away after posting 48-58-106 totals in the OHL last year.
"Nothing really has changed," said Chiarelli. "My position remains the same. I'd like to see how he does in camp. He's a terrific young player. I think he's going to open some eyes at camp, but we'll see how he does."
As to where Seguin will play, Chiarelli left some wiggle room there as well.
"Right now I'd say he'd be on the wing," said Chiarelli. "But you never know, things can change."
Seguin is a natural center, but Boston appears set down the middle with Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Gregory Campbell. Savard could still be in play for a trade to solve Boston's cap issues, while Chiarelli also added that he has spoken with coach Claude Julien about moving some other players around. Bergeron, in particular, has experience on wing and could move over if the Bruins decide to keep Seguin at his natural center position.