Hockey Questions with Shawn Hutcheon

Bergy & tuukkaI can’t remember exactly which of Shawn Hutcheon’s brilliant articles made me decide to follow him on twitter but I do know that we became friends when he was live tweeting Rocky one night while I was watching Rocky IV. Anyone who loves the Rocky movies as much as I do is A+ in my book. He also writes incredibly insightful articles about hockey for The Fourth Period and is willing to chat Bruins with me all hours of the night. If you are not following him on twitter right now, you should fix that. And read his wonderful answers to my questions.

Is there anything you are really missing about not being in Sochi?

I wish I could cover the hockey games at Sochi. I would love to be around the best the world has to offer not to mention the atmosphere. My dad took me to the Summer Games in Montreal in 1976. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

Is there one NHL player that will benefit the most from an Olympic win?

It’s hard to say which player will benefit the most from a gold medal until we know which team wins it. If a Bruin does win a gold, he’ll bring a lot of confidence home with him, as well as the medal.

I have mixed feelings about Bruins winning and losing in Sochi. Are there any you hope will win?

I’m not rooting for any one specific Bruin. They’re all great guys. I wish all of them could bring back a medal.

Any you think will benefit from a loss?

The most important thing about losing is that you learn from it. Whoever does not win a medal will know what not to do when trying to win in any situation.

What is your favorite part of writing about sports?

I like everything about sports writing from meeting great colleagues who have become friends to meeting and talking with the employees of all the NHL teams and of course, talking with the players. I will say, every time I walk into an NHL team’s dressing room, it’s a pinch me moment.

Who is the best interview you’ve ever had?

The best interview I’ve conducted didn’t involve an athlete. It was with Roseann Sdroia, who lost her left leg in the Boston Marathon bombing. Her resolve and spirit was incredibly inspirational. She’s a very special person and is winning her fight to get her life back…Because I’ve never had a negative experience with any NHL player, I don’t think I can say I had a “best” interview with any one of them. A couple that stand out was Shawn Thornton before they played against Vancouver for the first time after winning the Stanley Cup. The other was with Ben Lovejoy of the Anaheim Ducks when they were in Boston this year. I coached him when he was 12 and 13 years old and it’s awesome to see him playing in the NHL. I also coached Brian Boyle of the New York Rangers. He and Lovejoy played together on the teams I coached..I think the most fun interview was with Brad Marchand earlier this year. What you see, is what you get and he’s one of the funniest persons you could ever meet.

What is the craziest experience you have had as a sports writer?

The craziest experience I’ve had as a sports writer came immediately after the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup at TD Garden last year. I was on the ice about to interview Patrick Kane when actor Jim Belushi came out of nowhere (I didn’t even know he was in the building) to grab Kane and give him a huge hug. I was thinking where did he come from then it hit me to take a pic with my cell phone, which I did and it came out pretty good.

What is the piece you’ve written that has meant the most to you?

The piece that has meant the most to me was one that I wrote last year. The Middlesex Islanders Junior Hockey Club’s coach is a friend of the parents of the late Avalanna Routh, the 6-year-old girl who became known around the world as Mrs. Bieber because she became friends with Justin Bieber, two days after she passed away from brain cancer, the coach told me about how his players spent many hours visiting her while she was in the hospital. She even had her own team jersey she would wear while they played and would wait for his phone call to tell her the games results. After he told me the whole story, I wrote about it and a few days later, he called me to tell me that everyone who read it was so touched by it that they cried. I didn’t write it for that. I wrote it because everyone has a story and although, everyone knew her’s, I felt there was more to it and that’s what I wrote. This is the piece… http://hockeyjournal.com/news/juniors/Islanders_Hockey_Club_touched_by_an_angel

Which hockey team is your pick to win the Olympics?

My pick to win Olympic gold has been, and continues to be, Sweden. Their skill level and goaltending is off the charts.

In a dream world, is there one player that the Bruins lost in the off season that you would want back, for the purpose of winning the Cup?

In a dream world, the player I would like to see return to Boston is Jaromir Jagr. He’s a future Hall of Famer and had a huge influence in the dressing room. The players really liked and respected him. He was always fun to speak with. On the ice, he could do pretty much whatever he wanted with the puck. His hockey IQ is one of the best I’ve ever seen. There aren’t many better at setting up teammates for scoring chances than Jagr.

Who is the biggest dark horse in this year’s Bruins team that may help us make it through the playoffs?

The biggest “dark horse” on the Bruins, good question. I think it could be Kevan Miller. He’s paid his dues with four years in the minors and is ready to assume an important role on the the team’s blue line. Not to mention, management and the coaching staff have a lot of confidence in him.

Who is your Bruins MVP for the season so far? And do you think that may change before the season is over?

Up to this point, my Bruins MVP is David Krejci. He is so good and so smooth that there are times when you don’t notice he’s on the ice then all of a sudden the puck is on his stick and in the net. He’s one of the best pure skaters in the league and is so smart with the puck. He’s a great defensive player, who is rarely out of position. Put it all together and you have a player who leads the team in scoring and is recognized around the NHL as one of top 5 centers in the league. I don’t expect that to change but any team that has Patrice Bergeron on it has another MVP year in and year out.

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Hockey Questions with Michael Hurley

12-27-13The Boston Bruins are on their Olympic break,  And, while our favorite players are in Sochi or the Dominican Republic, I am seizing the opportunity to ask a few of my favorite Bruins writers to answer some questions for me.
My first interview is with Michael Hurley from CBS Boston Sports, 98.5 The Sports Hub & WBZ-TV. I first fell for his hilarity last year while reading his “Leftover Bruins Thoughts’ during the playoffs. Something I looked forward to after every game.  Not only is he a huge Anton Khudobin fan, but he is always insightful, always funny. Definitely follow him on twitter: @michaelFhurley. There is a good chance he will make your day. OR, if you leave him a ridiculous comment, there is a good chance we will laugh about you all day long.
~
What photo makes you most excited to not be in Sochi?
Oh my God, definitely the double toilet picture. I mean, we are human beings here, and there are lines and boundaries we must respect in order for society to function peacefully. That’s just … nasty.

A close runner-up would be the yellow water from the reporter who said her hotel’s front desk advised her not to put any of the water on her face “because it contains something very dangerous.” That’s slightly concerning.

Of all the recent Boston Championships, during which one did you let GO the most?

I don’t know if it counts as recent anymore, but the only one that would qualify would be the ’04 Red Sox. I was still young, and that was a week-long stretch that was a whole lot of fun.

What is your favorite part of writing about sports?

The part I always appreciate and never take for granted is that I have the unique opportunity to have a platform and a microphone to express any opinion and make any case I want. That doesn’t mean I always think I’m right, but I appreciate that I can say something that can start a discussion or debate. So long as that debate doesn’t involve someone relentlessly hurling curse words at me, it’s usually a solid experience.

Who is the best interview you’ve ever had?

Well, I’m a little biased on this one, just because I liked the guy so much, but I’m going to have to go with Anton Khudobin. The guy was hilarious, and I think he knew it. He was like a less-crazy but just-as-entertaining version of Iilya Bryzgalov, except he could actually stop pucks, too. Every time I got to the Garden and saw Khudobin lead the team out of the tunnel, I got excited, because I knew it meant there would be a chat with Anton on tap for after the game.

I remember talking to him after he made 45 saves in a win against Ottawa on a night when Robin Lehner made 47 saves in a losing effort for the Senators. I informed Khudobin that it was a career high for him, and he wasn’t aware. He said he was just hoping that both goalies could get 50 saves, because that would have been entertaining to him. That’s what he was thinking about during a game in which he was asked to make 45 saves.

I miss Anton.

What is the craziest experience you have had as a sports writer?

I’m not sure “crazy” could ever be the right word to describe anything that takes place during my job, but I have been able to witness more amazing sports moments than I ever could have imagined. I was at Gillette this year when Tom Brady led the Patriots to a last-second win over the Saints, and I listened to the radio on the way home as David Ortiz cranked the game-tying grand slam in Game 2 of the ALCS. The next weekend, I was at Fenway when the Red Sox finished off the Tigers, and a week and a half after that, I was there to see the Red Sox win the World Series.

I have to say, I never really anticipated ever being at Fenway to witness the Sox winning it all, and being there for that postseason run was certainly one of the craziest experiences I’ve had.

What is the piece you’ve written that has meant the most to you?

That’s a good question. I think it might be the recap I wrote after the Bruins’ comeback victory in Game 7 against Toronto last year – http://boston.cbslocal.com/2013/05/14/bruins-miraculous-game-7-comeback-will-forever-go-down-in-boston-sports-lore/ . It was just such an incredible moment, and I know that I’ll never witness anything like that again.

I remember that for whatever reason, I started writing that one on my phone. I think I was in the hallway waiting for the locker room to open to the media, and I was trying to figure out a way to put that experience into words, so I just started tapping away.

To be honest, it’s pretty rare for me to write a story and think afterwards, “Hey, I feel good about that one.” So that Game 7 story stands out in my mind as one I feel good about.

Which hockey team do you pick to win the Olympics?

I think the most obvious answer is Canada, but I would have some concerns about goaltending if I were from the Great White North. Carey Price falling on his face wouldn’t totally stun me, and I think the 2010 team won despite Roberto Luongo. So I think that might get in the way of another gold for Canada.

I think Sweden might be the next best team in the tournament, in large part due to Henrik Lundqvist. A handful of the players were on that gold-winning team in ’06, and the Swedes are my pick this time around.

At the same time, I’m not ruling out the Russians getting some favorable calls. I’d never put anything past Putin.

Who is your pick to win the Stanley Cup?

I really feel like Pittsburgh is overdue, but I just can’t pick them to win four playoff series with Marc-Andre Fleury in net. I know it’s happened once before, but I just don’t see it happening again.

The Bruins should be right there again, but based on how difficult it is to go on long playoff runs in consecutive seasons, I’ll go with Anaheim. Not exactly the boldest pick, I know, but they’re just such a solid team.

Is there one NHL player that will benefit the most from an Olympic win?

I think it’s unlikely that Ryan Miller gets the opportunity to play for USA again, but let’s say he does, and let’s say he magically pulls off another run like he had in 2010. If he can put the team on his back and lead them all the way to gold, he’ll make himself the biggest name at the trade deadline and he’ll stand to make a whole lot more money in free agency this summer.

It’s unlikely, but hey, you never know.

One NHL player that will benefit the most from an Olympic loss?

Maybe an early exit for Slovakia wouldn’t be the worst thing for Zdeno Chara. The man needs rest.

Which Boston team will be the next to give us a reason to get drunk?

If you drink enough at a Celtics game, it might actually start to look like a good game.

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Denver Broncos – Military Salute! (My sister was there!)

For this week’s Denver Bronco’s game, my sister Stacey got to take part in the half time Military Salute, taking the field at half time! VERY exciting!! So proud of her!!

Here are some pictures/vids from Stacey and from my friend Jamie who was at the game! So upset that NBC didn’t show the tribute during half time!! These Men and Women of the US Military have definitely earned a little prime time love.

Enjoy these views!! (click to watch the vid!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiMDLY-25z8

 

SBN 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SBN 4SBN 1

 

SBN 2

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Tyler Seguin is Such a Jerk

Here’s the thing.

I get that Tyler Seguin has a reputation for being a hard partying douche bag. A waste of a draft pick and a loser. Fine.

Every douche I know is upset when he scores his 4th goal of the game, wishing he could have given it to one of his teammates.

Ass holes always refuse to celebrate a 7th team goal. Because it’s not the right thing to do.

Dallas Ty Super jerks are all about starting a foundation to raise money and awareness for an affliction that has overcome their best childhood friend. Those kind always put their time, money and heart into something that means nothing to them. Buying suites, signing stuff, taking pics, spending time…. What an ass hole.

It’s usually the SUPER fuck ups that get 12 goals and 10 assists in their first 19 games with a new team.

And with their former team, 2nd overall in points was  HORRIBLE. Obviously.

And even after being drug through the mud and trash talked to no end, it’s the REAL jerks who continue to say wonderful things about their former team, their former city, their fans and all of the memories they made there.

Remember that time in Tyler Leather smallTampa when Seguin actually SAVED our entire playoffs? Oh yeah, we won a cup that year. Oh yeah, fuck that guy. Boo him off the ice. Piece of shit.

You guys are right, what an ass hole. How did I not see it before????

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Drama, Drama, Drama

9x03A lot of you know me as an avid television watcher.

A lover of stories.

A connoisseur of drama.

I have spent a lot of the past few years of my life writing about TV.

I have traveled the world to meet other people who love TV as much as I do.

The craziest TV. The best TV. The most heart stopping TV.

This year, a lot of my friends and followers are confused about my current preoccupation with sports and the theater that surrounds them.

I am here to say that sports and TV shows and the fandoms that follow them have absolutely everything in common.

You want drama? We’ve got that. You want to sit at the edge of your seat? We have that too. You want confusion, heart break, devastating loss? We have that in spades.

Last year, after a disastrous loss for my football team in the NFL playoffs, hockey came back to me. To be honest, the football season had kept me from missing hockey as much as I would have during the lockout. Getting it back just in time to have something new to cheer for was only one thing it did to change my life.

Win Bergy Marshy SegsA shortened, more intense season meant that every game counted. No game was to be missed and it was imperative to keep up on who was healthy and who was scoring, in order to better prepare for how each game might go. Which NHL team would make it into the playoffs and which would not, seemed to change every day. Even the mighty Bruins seemed questionable at times.

But the Bad Bruising Bruins did make it to the playoffs. Their game 7 win against Toronto will go into the history books. Not just for Boston but for the entire NHL. They proceeded to take out the unstoppable New York Rangers and then SWEPT the Eastern Darling Penguins, holding the best offense in the country to only two goals in four games.

But, making it far into the playoffs, to the final, and then losing on home ice is something, a pain, a loss that cannot be quantified.

Unless you are an avid television watcher.

There is something TV and hockey fans have in common!

2013 promo 2You pick your favorite show. You find a connection. One reason alone that makes it your very favorite. It speaks to you. It means something to you. And then you build on that. You find a favorite character. And once you recognize that character, you fall in love with the team behind them. But you still connect with the first thing that made you fall for the show. They do all of the things you love. They move in a way that speaks to you. The words they say mean something more. Sometimes they are silently amazing at what they do. Sometimes they are obnoxious in how they flaunt their abilities. Sometimes they are a little bit of both. Maybe they love your favorite kind of music. Maybe they dance as awkwardly as you might. Maybe they help your city come back from a devastating tragedy. Either way, you connect. You follow.

Maybe someday your favorite character and their team of sidekicks get just this close to catching the culprit. But your lead detective gets hurt so badly he can hardly breathe. He fights on anyways, knowing that they have to catch the bad bergy hurt 2guy! Everyone is over worked and over tired and the bad guy is gaining on them every minute they don’t act. They try their best. Everyone is working toward the same goal. But maybe a few new detectives have shown up putting kinks in the workings. And maybe some of the old ones aren’t working as hard as they should. No matter how hard they try. They just can’t get the bad guy. He kills again right in front of you and then gets away. Everyone is left holding the pieces and wondering what went wrong.

That’s it. That is your season finale. Everything went bad. So what does this mean for all of the characters you have fallen in love with over the last 48 or 82 episodes? And what if your character is new? What if your character has only been on the show for 5? 10? 20 episodes? Will you get to see them again next season? They didn’t die in the season finale but that doesn’t mean anything. Their fate is still left up for grabs.

You pray and you hope. They are your favorite character. You cannot live if they will not be on your show. THEY MUST BE ON YOUR SHOW. Certainly nothing will keep them from being on your show! They play an integral part!!! They want to stay! The show means so much to them!

But they won’t be on your show. Things happen. New deals are done. They will be working for another show next year. They will be a different character. And they will have brand new sidekicks you have never even heard of. They will be wearing clothes you never would have imagined them in.

Ty Dallas PreYou can only hope that if they aren’t going to be on your show next year, they will be on a show you can learn to love! A show that will promote all of their amazing qualities.

But, this isn’t a show. The bad guy is never caught. Not really. These aren’t characters. They are people. Parts of teams. Members of families.  Sometimes they choose to run away. Sometimes they are kicked out by parents who  just don’t understand. Often it’s just time to move on.

Sometimes it works out for the best. Sometimes it doesn’t.

But it never makes the drama any less.

This is how things are, though. Business is business. No one cares about your feelings or character relationships or families. You have to do what makes the most sense for viewers! For ratings! For trophies!

Suck it up!! Cheer for your team! Watch your show! Hope for your player! Pray for the best!

Nothing is sacred.

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2 DOWN: 80 TO GO! SIX VERY IMPORTANT THOUGHTS!!!!!!

10.5.13

1.) Jordan Caron continues to impress. And it’s about time. The kid has shown his grit just when it counts. Maybe he knew I was pissed about his selection over Johnson? Maybe this showing is just for me? At this point, I am so impressed by him that I am worried about replacing him with the recovering Soderberg.

2.) TOREY KRUG!! This kid. I cannot say enough. He battles. He shoots. He is clearly one of the best there is. Am I ridiculous in recommending him for the Calder already??

3.) BRADLY!!!! When Marchy hit the ice, face down, I’m not sure I was able to breathe. My husband tells me that I started to cry but I honestly don’t remember. I was so outside of myself. One of the scariest moments I’ve ever experienced as a Bruins fan. Thank GOD he seems to be okay.

4.) RED SOX!!!!! Loving that we are up 2 games to NOTHING!!! I never get into baseball until the playoffs but this time around seems to be super special. Boston is CRUSHING. Love it.

5.) Bruins were ON FIRE tonight! I have to be honest. The Red Wings are a tough team and I was worried that we could not take them down. We more than proved our worth. We have a lot of season to go, but I think we showed what we can do!!!! GO BRUINS!!!!!

6.) Cannot say how proud I am of of the Stars. Ovi is a HUGE contender and Dallas was able to hold him down. So stoked that Ty got his first NHL assist as a Star. GO STARS GO!!!

*****

I didn’t post this here the other night but these are my thoughts after the Bruins Home Opener:

IT’S HOCKEY SEASON!!!!! I HAVE 6 IMPORTANT THOUGHTS!!!!

Review of tonight:

1.) I need to stop holding my breath each and every time someone comes within 2 feet of Bergy and/or Soupy. They’re okay. They will not break on contact. I need to remember that my emotions are more fragile than they are. (But please everyone be careful with them I need them to be healthy thanks)

2.) Could not be more excited about Seidenberg’s extension. I was worried that this was something I was going to have to stress about ALL YEAR. Losing Seids would have been SO BAD and SO HUGE. The Bruins made the smart play and got it taken care of right away. One of the best and most underrated defense-men will be with the Bruins for a good long time, now. STOKED.

3.) I may have miss-judged Caron. I really thought Nick Johnson earned the 13th forward job over Caron. And I still think that Nick Johnson WILL be a Forward in the NHL some day soon. But… Jordie really impressed me tonight and I feel like he was TOTALLY ROBBED on that goal. It was DEFINITELY in the net WAY before the whistle and even though the Refs lost sight of the puck, Jordie never did. It was a gorgeous effort.

4.) I know there is a lot of talk in the league right now about the outlawing of fighting. But… If anything was going to cement Iggy in the hearts of Bruins fans world wide, it was that fight tonight. He stood up for his team, he threw the gloves down, and he totally kicked ass. Count me in for SO GLAD he is a member of our team. That was WICKED!

5.) The 2nd Line looked better BY FAR tonight than I have seen them look all through camp/Preseason. Loui was pretty impressive on the break-aways, even if they didn’t end in goals. If any one of them looked out of sync, it had to be Marchy. He was off. Think he was missing his boyfriend? Speaking of……

6.) Dallas. Ugh. Poor Tyler. I really wanted so much more for him in his first game away from home. I hope that it will come. Tonight was not good. Not for him or for his team. I honestly just want him to succeed SO BAD. He’s so freaking talented. I hope they figure it out. The one breakaway I got to see was so damn gorgeous. I miss watching him skate. He is STUNNING when he’s got the jets on. STUNNING. He just needs to work on his aim a bit. He probably got way too much into his own head again, like he tends to do. Looking for so much more from him going forward!!!

SO FREAKING GLAD HOCKEY IS BACK FOR REALS!!!!

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The Tyler Seguin Dilemma

Pens game 1I followed hockey when I lived in Colorado. It was pretty easy. We had a Cup winning team. Twice in less than a decade. As a matter of fact, a lot of Denver residents didn’t even KNOW we had a hockey team until they won the cup and we got to have a parade!!! I was not that girl. I grew up in Vail. There was an AWHL hockey team there when I was a kid. I went to games with friends. I never learned SQUAT about the game and hockey was not the preferred sport in my house (FOOTBALL) but I tried to follow as best as any busy teenager could.

I came to the Bruins in the best way. My current BFF was ALWAYS going on about them at work. “Bruins, this. Bruins, that.” WHATEVER. Halfway through the 2010-2011 season, she convinced me to turn the TV on. A love affair was born. I wanted to learn more, watch more. When the playoffs started we were at her wedding in Newport, Rhode Island and we HAD to make sure that we found a bar that was playing the game. Hockey became exciting for me for the first time in a long time after leaving Colorado.

The most exciting part of watching hockey again after so many years, was the rookie, #19, and his AMAZING speed. I couldn’t believe how fast he was. And the impossible goals. BEAUTIFUL goals. My favorite player of all time is Peter Forsberg, a left shooting center. Not the fastest but certainly one of the best. And then here comes this right shooting wing, completely blowing my mind. This kid made things happen. Who is he? What is his name? I’d never seen anything like him. Not that it means much, given my limited knowledge. If he had been covered as much as Terrell Davis, maybe I would have had a bit more info?

042112bruinsce025.JPGI watched him. Game after game. I spent my youth with figure skaters in Vail. I can tell what fancy footwork looks like on ice, even if I am no hockey ingénue. This kid had it ALL. He was the kind of player that made the game so exciting to watch, even for someone just trying to learn more about it. His style and talent made hockey even more fun than it already was.

We won the Cup in 2011 and my BFF bought me a Seguin shirt. She knew that he was a huge part of why I was so excited about hockey again. His goals, his skating: BEAUTIFUL. Something anyone could appreciate.

Despite the Bruins’ shortened playoff run in 2012, he had proven himself so worthy, so talented, that he earned a GIANT contract worth nearly $5.75 million a year for 6 years. During the Lockout, he was the highest scorer on his EHC team. Not hard to believe. He had 67 points (29 goals, 38 assists) in an 81-game season in 2011-12. Via SportsDayDFW: “He has played 203 regular season games, tallying 121 points (56 goals, 65 assists) and is plus-53 in that span. What’s more, he has played 42 playoff games, already and has gone to the Stanley Cup Final twice, and already has won one Cup.”

TS19 Bday game 2To say that I was DEVASTATED when he was traded from Boston to Dallas on July 4th is the understatement of the century. I believe in the Bruins organization and I know that they are always doing their best to build the strongest team to win another Stanley Cup. I also believe that threatening a trade, taking it back and then making it happen, all while telling the media that there are other “issues,” is a cold, bull shit, way to do business. I don’t think you are allowed to publicly throw anyone under a bus unless you plan on trying to pick them up on the next bus. Humiliating Tyler Seguin in public right before trading him, made the Bruins GM look like he was making excuses for trading a quality player that he needed to get rid of due to salary cap issues. You can’t afford him? Fine! Be man enough to admit it. Don’t let us all believe that you’re going to keep him, just as long as he cleans up his act (which as a 21 year old includes going to parties. OH MY GOD THE HORROR).

I have a feeling that Tyler Seguin is just getting started. I’m not an analyst or a professional sports writer but I can tell you that this guy has a ton of talent and, one ‘less than great’ playoff run will not be the end of his career. Despite some immaturity, Seguin will move mountains and will be a player who will be talked about for years to come. I cannot wait for the rest of the NHL fans to witness his skill on the ice.

TS 2013 2Seguin has a lot of fans that love him because he is pretty to look at. So many that it has become tiresome. He is gorgeous, yes. Very true. That is something that cannot be denied. HOWEVER, I will continue to follow his career, knowing and hoping that he will have success on any team he plays for.

I am a Boston Bruins fan first and foremost. But I will never be ashamed to tell anyone that Tyler Seguin is one of my favorite players. I hope he finds all of the success in Dallas, playing first line center, as well as I believe that he can. His gorgeous skating and mind blowing goals will impress many more, I am sure.

He has a very pretty face. But all of his points look even better.

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