The Bruins made headlines last week by trading Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars as part of a seven-player deal. The move was unusual, since Seguin is still only three years removed from being the second overall pick in the draft, and is generally considered to be one of the most promising young players in the league. The Bruins had their reasons — the team was reportedly concerned about his off-ice partying and whether he was committed to winning — but they’re still taking a significant risk.
How significant? Let’s just say that NHL history is filled with examples of teams giving up on young players too soon. So many, in fact, that you could probably fill out an entire roster using nothing but future stars that some unfortunate team let slip away. And today, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.
Last week was a busy one in the NHL, featuring the draft, several major trades, and the opening days of unrestricted free agency. And while the offseason stretches into September, history tends to show that most of the key moves are made within those frantic first few days.
Some transactions will fly under the radar, while others will be noticed and then forgotten relatively quickly. And then there are the important decisions that catch everyone’s attention, spurring debate and inevitably thrusting some poor soul directly into the spotlight — whether he wants to be there or not.
Here are 10 names from around the league who, for good or for bad, have found themselves solidly in that spotlight after the offseason’s opening act.
Vancouver Canucks starting goaltender (?) Roberto Luongo
The draft-day trade that sent Cory Schneider to New Jersey was supposed to mark the end of a 14-month goaltending controversy in Vancouver. Instead, it seems to have somehow made a difficult situation even more complicated.
By trading away their younger, cheaper option and handing the starter’s job to Luongo, the Canucks were probably making the only move that was available to them. But it’s a decision that’s left them at the mercy of the disgruntled Luongo, who had been waiting more than a year for the team to honor his trade request.