BOSTON -- With the Bruins season over and the team failing to reach their ultimate goal, it's easy to look back and place blame. Of course there's one topic that second-guessers love to bring up: the Tyler Seguin trade of last summer.
But let's get this straight: It was the right decision, period.
Peter Chiarelli sent Seguin, fellow forward Rich Peverley and prospect Ryan Button to the Dallas Stars in exchange for Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser and Joe Morrow on July 4, and Boston clearly won out in the deal.
From a statistical standpoint, Seguin had an impressive season with the Stars, posting 37 goals and 47 assists for 84 points in 80 games. But the contributions Eriksson, Smith and Fraser made for the Bruins were highly impressive. Now, with a full season of experience in the Bruins’ organization, those players will only get better.
Smith made major contributions and proved he will be a strong asset to the Bruins for a long time.
“I don’t think anyone expected Reilly to have the year that he had," said Bruins president Cam Neely on Tuesday. "We knew what type of player he could be, but it came probably quicker than we expected.”
Eriksson wasn’t at his best. A pair of early-season concussions briefly altered his game. Once he returned from the Olympics, he was a better player and finished strong.
“Loui, I think he came in, and it was a difficult transition for him, and then he got hurt. We think he can be a better player, he’s proven to be a better player, and that’s our expectation, that he can be a better player,” Neely said.
Fraser had an outstanding season in the AHL for the Providence Bruins, and made an instant impact when he was called up and scored the game-winning OT goal against the Canadiens in Game 4.
And Morrow is in the pipeline.
“Morrow we have in Providence, who is a really skilled defenseman that needs time to develop,” Neely said.
All in all, Neely is satisfied with how the deal has impacted the Bruins.
“You can always look back at any trade, any transaction and say ‘what if.’ The deal is done, and we’ve got our players that helped us actually have the best record in the NHL in the regular season,” Neely said. “We could have gotten more out of everybody in the playoffs, and I expect those guys to improve.”