When Bruins forward Tyler Seguin
was 10 years old, Daniel Alfredsson, Zdeno Chara
, Jarome Iginla and Marian Hossa were just a handful of players from Sunday's All-Star game that were establishing themselves in the NHL.
But this weekend Seguin, who turns 20 on Tuesday, got an opportunity to hang out with the veteran players and skate along side them in the All-Star game.
"You learn a ton," Seguin said. "Last year [on the rookie team] was one thing to kind of meet them and observe, but this year was actual hockey talk with guys who know you by your name. You get the little details, where you can act like a fan a little bit."
Seguin's Head Coach Claude Julien, who also coached Team Chara to a 12-9 victory, was happy that his forward had the opportunity to play with NHL's finest veterans.
"What a great experience for a young player, a chance to see all these guys," Julien said. "Probably some of those guys were his idols coming up through the ranks and he had a chance to see some time with them."
Seguin, who leads the Bruins 19 goals, centered a line with Toronto Maple Leaf's forwards Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel.
"I thought it was a great opportunity to put those guys together," Julien said. "Instead of making it a rivalry or who ended up with the best of the trade and so on and so forth -- they're both great players.
"The fact that Tyler could play center because we were short at center, why not put him with skill? Again, this thing's not about wars or competing, it's about having fun and we thought we would."
Chara also talked about the significance of Seguin having the opportunity to learn from the older players.
"I think it's great for him," Chara said. "Especially like you said, for a young guy to be around veteran star players in the league that have accomplished something - [to see] the way they act, the way the play, the way they approach the preparation for skills [challenge] or a game could be huge for a young guy."
At the weekend's end, Seguin couldn't pinpoint his favorite moment, but one thing was certain - he enjoyed himself.
"[It was] a lot more fun than I thought it would be," Seguin said. "I knew it would be a good time but I had a blast out there. I think with this type of thing, there being so many events, it's just the whole package.
"This weekend is one I'll remember for the rest of my life." ---Anthony Gulizia