Chiarelli: Rather Commit to Our Own
BOSTON — Tyler Seguin said that he fell in love with Boston on his first visit.
Clearly, over the past two seasons, the city reciprocated the feeling and, today, so did the Boston Bruins to the tune of a six-year contract extension through the 2018-19 season, worth an average of $5.75 million annually.
"You’ve heard me talk about Tyler before," said Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli to bostonbruinsTV. "He's very skilled, has a terrific shot, and is a young player who’s going to be with us—counting this year—seven more years.
"It's a commitment by Tyler, a commitment by us, and when you can lock up a player…that’s in our top six forwards and is still getting better it’s an exciting thing."
That excitement reaches a new level when the B's factor in Seguin's age (just 20) and experience (a Stanley Cup ring in 2011, the B's leading scorer last season).
"With a player of his talent, his skill, his speed, his strength, he’s got a lot of things going for him," said Chiarelli. "He’s really integrated himself and the guys like him, and I think he’s humbled to a certain degree by this contract."
It's obviously a lucrative deal, which solidifies Seguin as one of the most important faces of the Bruins franchise, but Chiarelli said the Black & Gold have made pains to keep Tyler from having to take too big of a role too soon.
"I think on the faces of the franchise thing, anytime you lock up someone that long you’re probably alluding to that," said Chiarelli. "But we structured the contract, and I talked to Tyler about, not easing into it, but phasing into a more prominent role."
As such, the worth of the contract at its onset ($4.5 million) does not make him the highest paid forward on the team, but Chiarelli certainly sees a progressive path for Seguin as he enters his 20’s and is glad to have seen his top draft choice from 2010 (picked second overall) grow into his NHL career.
"Any time you want to give somebody a long-term contract, the more information the better," said Chiarelli of the decision to retain Seguin. "Obviously, if you know what a player is like, you know how he is as a person — it’s easier to commit to that player.
"And that’s the formula that I’ve used in all my time in hockey and we’ve used here. So, you know, sometimes it’s a dicey gamble when you go into the free agent market and I would rather commit to our own players than go to the free agent market, and that’s what we’re doing."
One other thing that the Bruins (and their fans) are doing is making Boston a place where players want to stay.
"Everyone I talk to about coming here on an extended contract loves Boston, so he was no different," said Chiarelli of Seguin. "They say that, and I don’t think they just say it because that’s what I want to hear or it’s what the fans want to hear, they truly and genuinely want to stay here.
"It’s a terrific sports town, it’s a town full of character," added Chiarelli. "And we’re a winning franchise and a winning organization and they want to stay here. Tyler was the same as the rest of them.
"I think he’s still a little wet behind the ears as far as knowing really the significance of the city and its people and its beliefs and the style of the city.
"I think he’s still learning it, but I think he certainly likes it," he said.
"I’m very excited, it’s a dream come true," said Seguin to BostonBruins.com. "Obviously, playing here in Boston for another seven years — being a part of this organization — is exactly what I was looking for.
"Since the first day I came into this city I knew this is where I wanted to live and have a life…and I’m definitely very ecstatic about it all."