Tyler Seguin Could Be Winging It Longer Than Expected Now That Bruins Have Committed to David Krejci


Tyler Seguin Could Be Winging It Longer Than Expected Now That Bruins Have Committed to David KrejciBOSTON — The Bruins have their No. 1 center locked up, having signed David Krejci to a three-year extension worth $15.75 million on Thursday.

They already have their No. 2, or perhaps more accurately 1A, center in the fold with Patrice Bergeron in the first year of a three-year, $15 million deal of his own.

That's $10.25 million dollars worth of cap space devoted to the top two guys at the position. But there's another guy on the team who is a natural center capable of playing one of those roles, and he just happens to be leading the club in scoring this year and will be due for a new contract of his own after next season.

So, what does Krejci's new deal mean for Tyler Seguin?

Throughout the course of Seguin's development with the team, the plan has always been to move him eventually to his natural position of center. But with Krejci now signed long-term and Seguin having proven how effective he can be on the wing this season, the talented youngster's future may not be in the middle after all.

The Bruins aren't committing to that plan just yet, but Seguin has quickly erased any doubts that he belongs in the top six with his breakout performance this season, and with Krejci and Bergeron sticking around, the only spots available on the top two lines for the next few years will be on the wing.

"We really haven't made that determination," Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said. "[Seguin]'s showing he's having success on the wing. He's played well in the middle. He's happy in either place. I look at it as if you can get a lot of good players together, you'll figure out a way to make them all fit."

The reality is the best fit may be keeping Seguin on the wing. Playing out there certainly hasn't affected his production, as he's already surpassed his totals from his entire rookie year with a 12-12-24 line through 23 games this season.

Seguin's skill-set is well suited to the role. He's a gifted playmaker, and he can still set up his linemates from the wing, but he's also shown he can be quite a willing and able sniper as well. His 12 goals lead the team, while his 63 shots trail just Zdeno Chara.

Conversely, both Krejci and Bergeron are better suited for the middle. Both have far more developed defensive games needed for the added responsibilities at center, with Bergeron a legitimate candidate for the Selke Trophy as the league's top defensive forward. Bergeron is also one of the best faceoff men in the NHL, currently ranking seventh in the league at 56.9 percent this season. Krejci is pretty effective at draws himself, ranking 26th in the league at 53.1 percent, while Seguin is dead last on the Bruins among players with 10 more faceoffs, winning just 42.2 percent.

Clearly, the Bruins are strongest right now with Krejci and Bergeron in the middle and Seguin on the wing, and it may well stay that way for a few years longer than originally anticipated. But having that kind of depth down the middle is one problem every team in the NHL would love to have.

"I feel a team gets built from the back end and down the middle," Chiarelli said. "To have a strong middle is obviously an asset in my mind, and David is part of that.

"David's shown that he can play different types of games," Chiarelli added when asked about the potential logjam at center. "Bergy's shown that he can play different types of games. We've seen Chris Kelly now. Tyler can play center, he can play wing. We've got a lot of options here. We've got some good centers coming. I think a 'logjam' is probably not the word. I think [it's] an excess of supply and I'm happy to have it."

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