Seguin fits in with the B’s

MIKE ZEISBERGER, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:26 AM ET

BOSTON — “What if ...”

Tyler Seguin has fielded so many questions starting with those two words, he should probably stitch them on the back of his black-and-gold Boston Bruins jersey.

“What if Brian Burke hadn’t traded all those draft picks for Phil Kessel?”

“What if the Maple Leafs would have retained their 2010 first-round pick and been in position to select you second overall this past summer?”

“What if you were wearing blue-and-white right now as part of your first training NHL training camp at the Mastercard Centre, just a 25-minute drive from your Brampton home?”

Blah blah blah.

Tyler Seguin has heard them all, many from his chums who grew up literally drinking the blue-and-white Kool-Aid as faithful members of the so-called Leafs Nation.

“Oh ya, definitely my closest buddies wanted to see me be a Maple Leaf,” Seguin, 18, said. “Hey, being a Maple Leaf would have been great, especially being so close to home and all.

“But I never really looked at it that way. I mean, maybe I was a bit of a Leafs fan because it was the hometown team and I went to a few games ... But not really. I didn’t really have one team. I was more of a hockey fan — and a Steve Yzerman fan.”

All that Leafs scuttlebutt is irrelevant now. At least it is for Seguin. He knows the talk shows in Toronto will continue to bring up the “what ifs,” especially if he sizzles and Kessel fizzles. But, truth be told, it’s a topic he could care less about.

The only thing that matters is that he is a Boston Bruin. And he couldn’t be more thrilled.

As a result, Seguin’s family and friends now worship at the Temple of the Beantown B’s, an institution that has featured prestigious names such as Orr, Esposito and Bourque over the past few decades.

Maybe it’s not as hockey-crazed a city as Toronto. But it still is a market that, at times, oozes passion for the sport, a realization Seguin discovered first-hand during his second game at rookie camp when more than 14,000 fans came to the TD Garden, many of them on hand primarily to catch a peek of the NHL’s second overall pick.

“It was pretty surprising seeing all those people,” Seguin said. “It was neat, really neat.

“How could you not like it here? It’s an Original Six team. It kind of makes the whole thing surreal. I mean, the first time I pulled on that Bruins jersey it was special. It was such a great feeling.”

Seguin’s family was on hand for that rookie game but then headed back home “to give me some space.”

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli admits he thought about trying to trade up one spot for the first overall pick.

He won’t say if the Bruins had Seguin or former Windsor Spitfire star Taylor Hall ranked higher on the team’s draft board. In the end, the cost would have been too high anyway.

“Either way, we were going to get a great prospect at

No. 2,” Chiarelli said. “It wasn’t going to be worth paying the price to deal up.

“Hey, we are very happy with the kid we got.”

With the Bruins so deep up the middle led by the likes of Marc Savard and David Krejci, coach Claude Julien had toyed with the idea of shifting the former Plymouth Whaler star from centre to the wing.

But when Savard informed the team he was experiencing the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome and would not be able to start training camp, that experiment was scuttled.

“I feel bad for Marc,” Seguin said. “We all do. We all hope he has a speedy recovery and comes back soon.

“I don’t mind playing centre or wing. Obviously I feel more comfortable at centre because it is my natural position but either one would be fine.”

This much is certain: Tyler Seguin already is feeling comfortable in his new hockey home of Boston.

Leaf fans probably cringe just thinking about that.


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