BOSTON, MA -- Just one day after the NHL and NHLPA announced they had reached agreement on the framework of a new CBA, Tyler Seguin's smile filled the skate rental room at Boston University's Agganis Arena.
As he stepped off the ice, Seguin (who joined Gregory Campbell, Andrew Ference, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Adam McQuaid, Tuukka Rask and Shawn Thornton at an informal skate presided over by former NHLer and Boston University standout Mike Grier) faced the media and talked about returning to New England and his expectations for the season.
"You’re going to have to get off to a pretty good start," said Seguin of the shortened 2012-13 campaign. "I think we’re going to have to have a really solid training camp here, and everyone get right back into sync, and get the chemistry back if it’s been lost over the last few months, and come out really strong.
"It’s hard to start off with a 1-6 or 1-7 record with a really short season, so we’re going to have to come out tough and finish strong."
Seguin started the season in Europe playing for HC Biel in Switzerland, compiled a 25-15-40 line in only 29 games played, and pronounced his European hockey odyssey "different."
"People asked if it was good or bad, but it was just different," Seguin explained. "Everything was so much different.
"The game was better than I would have expected it ever to be. Really fast, so much skill over there, less hitting, and the guys are not as thick as over here, but I thought it suited my game well.
"I told agent I wanted to go to Europe," added Tyler. "I thought it would be a cool experience to play professional hockey in Europe…and I heard Switzerland was a great league [with] a lot of NHL guys went over there, and it was a great time.
"I feel like I’m skating better than I have in a really long time," he said.
Given how important the next few weeks will be to the B's playoff hopes, Seguin said he was glad to see his teammates have come back ready to play, as well.
"Obviously, they’ve been doing some hard work out there," said Seguin. "Everyone looks good, and I’m very excited to see how training camp goes."
There are no details as to when camp will begin, but for the B's skating at BU, hockey class was back in session and from the looks of it, Seguin was at the head of the class.
"I feel great," he said. "This is my first time back on smaller ice.
"I did feel weird…The [defense] come up a bit quicker than what I’m used to, but I feel very well conditioned.
"Ready to go."
Seguin better be ready to go, as one of the youngest members of the B's his legs will quickly be counted on as Boston looks to get out to a solid start.
"I know they’re going to tell me I’m young, so I have no excuse - I have to be ready every night," he said. "A short season, lots of games, but it’s going to be fun."
Now beginning his third season with Boston, Seguin was asked if he finally felt like a veteran.
"No, because [Shawn Thornton] puts me into place any time I act like it," said Seguin, with another wide grin. "Today, they made me wear a gold jersey because they see the top scorer stuff I wore over in Switzerland, and were giving it to me a little bit today.
"Obviously, I’ve gained experience playing here [in Boston], and with the guys I’ve played with, and having a guy like [Patrice] Bergeron on my line, learning from him. I don’t want to call myself a vet, but I’m gaining experience for sure."
As for the experience of returning after the work stoppage, Seguin was quick to point out the best part of returning to Boston.
"Right now - seeing the boys," said Seguin. "I missed the guys, obviously you keep in touch with everyone over time, but you’re with these guys every day of your life for 300 days out of the year.
"It’s been a while, so it’s nice catching up, and we’re going to be really excited to go on the Garden ice for the first time."