Tyler Seguin has been the center of so much debate, criticism, and questions over the past few seasons. No, he has not seen the production that he once had. Yes, he is making the most money in the entire league this season. So I understand.
But what is often forgotten is all of the adversity he has gone through. The 30-year-old Stars forward has faced achilles, knee, hip, and now foot injuries, most of which occurred on the right side of his body and some of which required multiple major surgeries and long recovery times.
Now, entering training camp fully healthy for the first time “in a minute”, Seguin is confident that he can re-find that elite offensive game and get back to putting up the bigger numbers that he expects from himself.
“Yeah, I am,” he said bluntly when asked if he feels that he is capable of returning to that next level.
The new system under Head Coach Pete DeBoer should help Seguin, and many Stars, produce more offense on the ice. The team will be pushing the pace and playing at a much higher speed than they have over the past few seasons, which should allow more possession and rush chances for both the forwards and the defense.
“It’s been phenomenal,” Seguin said when asked about the new systems and pace of practice. “Nothing gray. X’s and O’s, they are very vocal and you know what they are saying.”
“There is a lot more new terminology, stuff I haven’t heard before which is kind of cool. They have some new stuff you have to learn but I have been with Spotter [Assistant Coach Steve Spott] for the last 10 plus years over the summer and he has always had the best practices. Pete has come in, and seeing his teams in the past, their possession, how it is to play against them, how fast they are, and seeing the numbers his players put up, it shows their style. Exciting things happening in Dallas.”
When healthy, Seguin is a speedy playmaker with the ability to score all types of goals. Last season playing below 100%, he was forced to get to the tough areas and score “greasy” goals rather than the high-flying tallies we have seen from him in the past. Now he will look to use a healthier, stronger body to combine both of those styles in a system that allows more speed and offense, which could make him even more dangerous than ever before.
Coming into training camp and the season at full health physically and mentally is so vital in the NHL. For Seguin, it has been a constant struggle to do so since his best years (he tallied more than 70 points each season between 2013 and 2019). We talked about the physical side of things above, but the mental side is just as important. Not only is Seguin confident, but he is coming off a high-event summer which should keep the momentum rolling into the 2022-23 season.
“Turned 30, got engaged this summer, a lot of positive things,” he said. “Still only have three dogs, thinking about four. Life is good. It was a great offseason for me personally away from the rink, and in the weight room and on the ice I made a lot of good strides.”
What numbers Seguin will put up remains unknown, but I believe Stars fans can expect him to be a completely different and more confident player than he was last season, which is a huge benefit to this club and this city.
"I am excited about Tyler," Pete DeBoer said Friday. "I have always admired his offensive game and the player he is. I know he has had a couple of tough years, he is not alone in that boat. You don't have to look farther than Nashville in [Ryan] Johansen and Mat [Duchene] and what they did last year, I think Tyler is capable of that. I think he is capable of having a bounce-back year. I think he is healthy, he looks energized, he is shooting the puck, and he is scoring. There is no reason that he can't have a real good year here."