The last time the Boston Bruins and the Dallas Stars played in the American Airlines Center, Loui Eriksson and Tyler Seguin scored the first goals for their respective teams.
The Stars won 4-2 in Seguin’s only trip to Dallas in his three-year career.
He will be a regular at the AAC after Thursday’s seven-player swap between Dallas and Boston. Seguin, center Rich Peverley and defenseman Ryan Button are going to the Stars while Eriksson, right wings Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser, and defenseman Joe Morrow head to the Bruins.
A late report from TSN in Canada suggests the Stars might not be through dealing. The report says Edmonton Oilers center and team captain Shawn Horcoff will head to Dallas in return for a seventh-round draft pick and defenseman Phillip Larsen.
In the Boston deal, Dallas gives up Eriksson, a 27-year-old winger who tallied 357 points in seven seasons. But the Stars fill a glaring hole in the middle with Seguin, who is expected to move from wing back to center while Jamie Benn slides back to a wing.
“I think that we’re looking at someone who can play with Benn,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “It’s a position we wanted to fill and it’s a natural position for Tyler and he’s looking forward to playing it.”
Seguin, 21, finished third among Boston scorers last season, picking up 32 points on 16 goals and 16 assists. He is signed through 2019 at $5.75 million a season, according to CapGeek.com.
“We have a good core group of players now that are under the age of 25 or 26 and I think that will be great for [Seguin] to grow with these players,” Stars general manager Jim Nill said.
Seguin said the trade came as little surprise to him as he had heard rumors surrounding his imminent departure during the NHL Draft on Sunday.
“I come to the rink every day and work my hardest and I think the first three years of my career have been a learning curve. I look forward to getting better every day and I’m more motivated to come into a big city like Dallas,” Seguin said.
Peverley, 30, adds a veteran presence and a solid faceoff man for the second line. He finished last season with a 58.4 face-off percentage and tallied 18 points, including six goals.
“His face-off performance is something that, on any penalty kill, if you win a draw, you get it down the ice it’s 20 seconds before the other team can get it back up and get in the zone and get it set up,” Ruff said. “Being part of a team that’s been around the Stanley Cup for the past four years, I think he understands how hard it is and what it takes.”
Peverley said Thursday’s trade combined with the management moves the Stars have made during the off-season will make an impact on those just joining the team and returning players alike.
“Bringing in new management and coaches, everyone is going to be really motivated to take the team to another level,” he said. “I’m really excited about the opportunity and hopefully it works out great.”
Dallas was expected to make a big splash in the free agent market, which opens Friday, but these trades fortify at least one of the Stars’ big needs down the middle of the ice.
“I think that’s enough, but we’re always looking,” Nill said of the center depth chart Thursday. “I know it’s a lot better than it was an hour ago.”