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Stars forward Seguin seeking fresh start in Dallas

by Steve Hunt /

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars officially introduced center Tyler Seguin at American Airlines Center on Tuesday, and the 21-year-old expressed a desire for a fresh start in his new city.

Seguin answered questions for the first time about a controversial tweet -- which contained an offensive homosexual term -- that appeared on his Twitter feed Saturday before it was deleted. The Stars issued a statement Sunday admonishing the tweet, and Seguin's account on the social media site has been deleted.

"[Stars general manager] Jim [Nill] and I talked about it and we thought it was the right decision to shut down my Twitter," Seguin said. "It definitely didn’t feel good that my name was out there with saying negative things. But I definitely want to apologize to anyone that was hurt by what I’ve said, and happy to be moving on."

Nill echoed Seguin’s comments, saying the best thing for everyone once the incident has been properly addressed -- which team president and CEO Jim Lites said it has -- is to move on and focus on the young center’s future with his new club.

"I think it’s a great chance for Tyler to turn the page," Nill said. "He’s starting a new career down here in Dallas. We had a great talk about it. He’s the only one that knows what happened with his Twitter situation, and I just think it’s time to move on and go from there."

Seguin came to Dallas in a trade July 4 from the Boston Bruins along with center Rich Peverley and minor-league defenseman Ryan Button in a deal for wings Loui Eriksson, Matt Fraser and Reilly Smith plus defenseman Joseph Morrow.

Unlike his time with the Bruins, where he played on the wing, Seguin is expected to be used in the middle of the ice.

"Yeah, I’m very excited to be moving to center. It is my more natural position," Seguin said.

He figures to skate on the Stars' top line alongside Jamie Benn, a 2012 All-Star, and maybe Peverley. No matter who Seguin ends up playing with, Nill said there is one strength in Seguin's game that stands out above the rest.

"I think it’s skating. He’s a great skater, and his hockey sense. He’s got a little bit of Mike Modano in him," Nill said. "He can skate. He can shoot a puck and is a pretty exciting player that way."

Modano, a special adviser to the Stars who will see his No. 9 retired by the club in a ceremony next season, was present at the press conference Tuesday and said that adding a player like Seguin is what the Dallas franchise needs to get back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2008.

"He’s one of those guys that bring you to the edge of your seat. When he has the puck and he has a lot of speed, great things happen," Modano said. "He comes through the ice with a lot of speed through the neutral zone. But he is fast and talented with it, makes good plays. It’s a real strong move that they got him here."

Seguin was working his way over to meet Modano after the press conference when asked if he could one day envision himself as being the face of the Stars franchise like the iconic No. 9 once was. He didn't shy away from it.

"Yeah, that’s what I want to be," Seguin said. "That’s the shoes I want to step into. Obviously that’s far-fetched from where I’m standing right now, being 21. But growing up, my favorite player was always Steve Yzerman. I looked up to him and his type of game and Modano’s pretty much the same style."

Even with much of the press conference -- which also served to introduce forward Shawn Horcoff, acquired in a Friday trade with the Edmonton Oilers for defenseman Philip Larsen and a seventh-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft -- devoted to Seguin’s recent issues with Twitter, Nill  summed up being able to add a young talent in fairly succinct terms.

"When a player like Tyler becomes available, that doesn’t happen a lot in the sports world. I think it’s a win-win for both teams," Nill said. "What I’m excited about is Tyler’s played with a great organization. The Boston Bruins, they do it right. They do it the way we want to do it, and he’s been through that process. He’s lived there three years, learning how to do it the right way, and we’re going to be the beneficiaries of that time."

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