Tyler Seguin is an elite hockey player. He has a 40-goal season, an 80-point season, 249 career goals, and a Stanley Cup championship already on his resume. However, over the past few seasons, his production and role have significantly decreased. Now, he enters his 10th season with the Stars in a very good place, with the chance to return to his elite form and help his team get back some of the scoring they have lost over the years.
Seguin & Injuries
The injury trouble began when Seguin tore his labrum in his hip during the Stars’ 2020 Stanley Cup Final run. That injury ended up requiring double surgery after the season and resulted in him playing just three games in 2020-21. After an extremely challenging recovery from surgeries that forced him to “lose his entire quad muscle”, he was able to play in 81 of the 82 games for the Stars this season.
“Different than the first half of the year when I started,” Seguin said when asked how he felt at the end of the season. “The signs of progress, especially internally, were positive. It’s positive for me mentally going into this offseason. Going into this time knowing what I need, little things I am missing, and trying to get back to the statistics and the player I was.”
It was apparent from the start of the year that he was still getting up to speed, but with each passing week, the old Tyler Seguin began to come more and more into the picture. After recording just nine points over the first three months, Seguin tallied 10 points in January and finished with 37 of his 49 points after that point. This change was noticeable as his speed was better and he began to score some goal scorer’s goals. The Stars struggled mightily with depth scoring and Seguin took that issue on his own shoulders and worked to produce more as the season went on.
“I put a lot on myself,” Seguin said when asked about the lack of consistent secondary scoring. “I know if I can get back into the 30’s range, that’s a big boost right there. I put a lot of that on myself and I know it’s tied into the secondary scoring. I am going to be focused on that this summer.”
Following the Game 7 loss to the Calgary Flames, the Stars now have a long offseason ahead of them. The positive spin there is that may be exactly what Seguin needs to focus on his health and skill and regain his elite form.
“My expectations were high for this season,” he continued. “Then we were kind 20 or 30 games in and how I was feeling and my role on the team, the expectations kind of changed a little bit and I had to mentally change a little bit with that. Then, it just took some little tweaks during the year, little pregame things, and workouts of getting that power and getting that pop back and finding that confidence again in my body and myself and knowing that I can be a lot better and continue to grow. It was positive.”
Seguin fractured his foot in the playoffs but the injury should not require much rehab and he is expected to have a full summer of training.
The Formula for Seguin’s Success
At his best, Tyler Seguin is an elite two-way center with explosive speed, excellent faceoff numbers, a next-level defensive mind, and a shot that can beat any goaltender. Each of those tools slowly re-developed over the 2021-22 season and now have an excellent chance to get back to where they used to be, or perhaps even better.
“Getting that explosiveness back,” Seguin said of what he feels he needs to improve on. “Getting some little things in my body that were missing back. I needed one more summer and I am excited for it.”
Speaking of center, the 30-year-old has shown that he is more successful when in that position. He has bounced around a lot over the past two seasons and especially last year with all of the scoring issues surrounding the Stars. However, if the club wants to get the most out of him, it comes in the middle of the ice.
“I still like center,” Seguin said. “I still feel like I can do the best at center. That’s where I can get my speed, be under pucks, and be driving the neutral zone and be able to kick out and that’s where I think I can use the best of my assets.”
With the new season comes a new coaching staff for Dallas. While they have not named that replacement quite yet, they are likely going to choose someone who can bring more offensive firepower to the team. The Stars have had huge issues scoring since Jim Montgomery came in 2018. The organization is well-aware that they need to fix the issues if they want to be a more dynamic team that can win in different ways and make a run come postseason. This is all good news for players like Seguin, who can use this offensive freedom to boost their numbers and find the right balance on both sides of the ice.
“If I look at our team, how we are and who we have, we still need that offensive punch in our system a little bit more,,” Seguin said. “We had it, and then we had one coach come in and really hammer that defensive game and we haven’t really found that balance. We have to find the balance a little bit more, have our D activated a little more, and have a couple more plays at the offensive blue line and not just have to chip it in every time.”
It is hard to say what the lineup will look like come October but it seems likely that Seguin will slot into the second-line center role. If the Stars bring in some skilled free agents to bolster their top six, this will help him to further get back into a role where he is expected to produce offense on a nightly basis. If not, there could be a mix of young players and experienced guys that could line up on his wings to start the season. With more production comes more ice time and more power-play time (he has scored up to 14 PP goals in his career), both hopefully resulting in more goals and a positive cycle.
The Stars are at a point where they can really make a push into being true contenders. They have a ton of experience mixed with some youngsters that have already taken center stage and have a massive pool of prospects chomping to crack the roster this fall.
“I think it’s a great mix,” said Ryan Suter. “We were actually sitting in Calgary, some of the older guys, we were looking at teams that have won and how many guys above 30 they have, and we’re right there. We have a good mixture of old guys and young guys. Everyone cares, everyone’s on the same page and good things are to come.”
Tyler Seguin is a vital player to the Dallas Stars. Overall, he is nearly a point-per-game player with 565 points over 622 games across nine seasons with Dallas while developing into a tremendous leader in the dressing room. In order for the Stars to be the team they believe they can be, they need Seguin to be at his best. I think he is going to exceed expectations.
“It was a tough year for him coming out of the injuries,” Stars GM Jim Nill said. “I thought he got better as the year went on. This is going to be a big summer for him. He needs to bounce back. He’s a big part of our core. We need him back to normal where he was.”