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A 21-gun salute for Tyler Seguin

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  July 10, 2013 10:12 AM

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Hey, cut Tyler Seguin some slack.

Let he or she who wasn’t immature, self-centered, or oblivious to their surroundings at the age of 21 cast the first puck. Just because the kid kicked off his introductory press conference in Dallas Tuesday by explaining how excited he was to be with a bunch of single guys, we’re going to crucify him?

I mean, who among us wasn’t the budding face of a sports franchise making nearly $6 million a year?

I shudder to think what would happen had Twitter existed in 1995 – but would be fascinated to see what Peter McNeely’s consisted of – and the trouble we’d get in over it. In all likelihood, we’d all have to shut our accounts down after making international news when our phones got into the wrong hands. After a few Icehouses or Red Dogs, things could get out of control.

Bros will be bros, of course.

“On my last team, I was the only single guy,” Seguin said Tuesday before the Dallas media. “I’m excited to meet new faces and have a new start.”

Clearly The Harp was getting boring. Or Brad Marchand found a girlfriend.

It’s not Seguin’s fault that the Boston Bruins saw him as an underperforming child who was more into the nightlife scene than driving the net. He’s 21. He’s single. What’s the biggie?

It’s not like the Bruins might have won the Stanley Cup if only they’d gotten some semblance of production out of Seguin during the playoffs. Right? Let the kid sow some oats.

Now that he’s gone, everybody in Boston preaches his immaturity issues, while his new fans in Dallas are already a little up in arms after his Twitter escapade over the weekend. They should get a nasty note from Mom and Dad Seguin any day now. Maybe Candice will chime in too with another dig at Bruins coach Claude Julien.

And Toronto is taking its own shots at Boston.

From the Toronto Star’s Kevin McGran:

Thank you, Kessel.

You scored — with regularity — in the playoffs.

Your Twitter account has yet to be “hacked.”

And your “off-ice” issues appear to be limited to which teammate’s wedding you’re going to go to and how much rent you can charge roomie Tyler Bozak now.

Indeed, it is much better to be Phil Kessel these days than Tyler Seguin.

Ouch.

Still, Kessel is 25, and it’s not like anyone ever preached that he didn’t have maturity issues. Maybe he was able to clean his apartment and know how to work a washing machine every now and then four years back, but he seems to have grown into his own. So what if Seguin has thus far displayed nearly every concern that the Bruins had about him since dealing him last Thursday? Twenty-one, yo.

“I would challenge anybody to tell me there’s a more accomplished 1992-born hockey player walking the globe,” his agent, Ian Pulver told The Toronto Star. “While I’m not saying he’s perfect, what he’s done over 36 months under the microscope has been lost in translation.”

See, that’s the key there. “The microscope.” The Bruins, for some reason, felt the need to look after a child with all the talent in the world with the ego to go along with it. Who’s going to tell Tyler Seguin he can’t host nightly keggers with his boys? And as far as the whole wearing the same clothes three days in a row, pfft. Get back to me when that’s some sort of record.

This is, after all, what goes on with most 21-year-olds without professional responsibilities, something that, sorry, can’t go on Seguin’s excuse record. If you want to be a star in the NHL, you have to approach it like you’re already a veteran who isn’t satisfied with his name on the Cup only once. Seguin sure seemed that way during the spring of 2013.

But hey, he’s 21. That’s the excuse, we’re using, right?

It’s good enough for you and me. Not when you’re a professional making what the likes of Seguin is. If this was indeed a wake-up call, Seguin seems to have forgotten his alarm clock.

Again.

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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.

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