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On the Fly with Jackie Seguin

Tyler Seguin's mother sits down with Scott Burnside for five questions, presented by Allstate

by Scott Burnside @OvertimeScottB / DallasStars.com

"On the Fly" is a new regular feature on DallasStars.com. Senior digital correspondent Scott Burnside sits down with a member of the Stars for a few random, off-the-cuff questions to gain insight into their lives, thoughts and careers on and off the ice.

For this week's special edition, we caught up with Tyler Seguin's mother, Jackie Seguin, at the dedication ceremony of a new ball hockey court and learning lab with the Boys and Girls Club of Collin County-Frisco.


Previous installments: Jason Spezza | Jamie Benn  | Stephen Johns  | Kari Lehtonen  | Tyler Pitlick  | Marc Methot  | Devin Shore | Antoine Roussel


 

Scott Burnside: Do you remember the moment where you thought, 'Oh my gosh, he's going to be good at this game,' and that this is going to ruin a lot of Saturday mornings?

Jackie Seguin: One thing with Tyler, he played house league I believe the first year, like, Tim Bits (ages 5 and 6), and then after that, all he ever wanted to do was be on the ice. In the summertime, he couldn't get enough of hockey. If his team were out of the tournament, Tyler would want us to drop him off on a Sunday and spend the whole day there (at the rink complex). From 8 o'clock in the morning, from the first game until the championships, just watching hockey all by himself. He would just stay there all day -- all day. So, we'd drop him give him a little bit of money and he'd just watch hockey all day, go from rink to rink. In Toronto, there is like six rinks, one complex, so (during) the tournament, he would just stay there all day.

Video: DAL@BOS: Seguin makes nifty deke, nets OT winner

 

SB: In your place in Brampton, Ontario, what's the most treasured hockey thing you have in your house?

JS: So, a Stanley Cup picture, of course. What he did was he got a framed picture for everybody in the family and he personally signed every one with a little note. So everybody in our family -- the girls have a picture (Tyler has two younger sisters), I have a picture, his dad has one, his grandparents all have pictures, the uncles have pictures that he had done for everybody personally and signed them, thanking us for everything. Mine says, 'Thank you for everything you've done for me, Mom. Love you, Tyler.' He's sensitive that way. He's a good kid.

So, the day with the Cup, we met downtown at his apartment (in downtown Toronto). It was right at Maple Leaf Square. He hoisted it there. I have pictures on my phone because for Mother's Day, he sent me a picture with him and I with the Cup, and I'm hoisting it. And it's very heavy. Very heavy. Have you lifted it? At first, when I lifted it, I didn't realize it would be so heavy and he gave it to me out of the box and he goes, 'Okay, Mom, lift it up.' And I go, 'Oh my God, I can't lift this thing. It's way too heavy.' So then, we lifted it together. And we have pictures of that. We went to Sick Kids (Hospital). That was a priority, and then we took it to where he played hockey at Westwood Arena with the Nats (Toronto Young Nationals). He had thousands of people come. Then, we took it to the park in Brampton and they had to call in extra police. We did not expect as many people to show up as showed up. It was crazy, crazy packed. It was a very hot day and people were lined up for hours. Just to get a picture with him and the Cup, they brought tents and everything. City of Brampton did an excellent job. But we were there too long because, now, it was getting to a point where we were on a schedule, so what Tyler did for everybody that was still in line, he put them all on the hill with the Cup and him and had a big picture done, and then he made sure everybody got that picture. People stayed behind from the City of Brampton and from the Brampton Canadettes -- that's a girl's league -- and that's where my girls were playing, and they made sure that everybody that was on there got their emails and sent their pictures.

 

SB: So, I need you to tell me the Bob McKenzie story again.

JS: Okay, so, I used to work in this restaurant and Bob McKenzie came in one day, and I used to always see him on TV, and Tyler was 3 years old. I said to Bob, and I was serving him and his wife, and I said to him, 'One day, you're going to talk about my son,' and I was just joking. 'One day, you're going to talk about my son on TV.' He just kind of fluffed me off. Yeah, okay, whatever. And then, that was the end of it. I never saw him again except for on TV, and then when he wrote his book ("Hockey Dad: True Confessions From A (Crazy?) Hockey Parent) I sent him a message, and said I wanted one for my son for Christmas. I wanted to give him a signed, autographed book from you. So I met him at Etobicoke Ice Sports and he signed a book, and I said, 'See, I told you you'd be talking about my son.' He didn't know me or he didn't remember the story.

 

SB: When you see him, you're in that moment with him in public on a day like today, all these people are here because of him and he's giving back to the community. Do you sometimes stop and go, 'Wow, that's my son that's done that?'

JS: I know I'm taken aback. All the people, all the volunteers, it's just amazing. Everyone's giving back, it's huge in the community. I'm in awe. But to me, Tyler's just Tyler. He's just my son at the end of the day. He's nobody special to me. Do you know what I'm saying? He's still my son and he's doing great stuff, and I think it's awesome that he is doing this. The thing with Tyler is that he doesn't say anything. He's such a boy. Boys never say (anything). When he did it last year (a similar event with the Boys and Girls Club), I didn't know about until I saw it because he doesn't make a big deal. He thinks, 'Okay, it's just a part of what I should do this because I should give back,' and I don't think he realizes how much of a superstar he is because we don't talk about it. We never talk about it. When summer comes, we do not talk about hockey. Never. I think that's what he likes is because we never talk about any hockey, and I don't ask questions. When you have a boy, you only get what's going on in the moment. Boys don't talk. And so, when I found out about this (event) through some of the Dallas Stars (staff), I was like, well, I have to go because I want to be part of this.

Video: Seguin donates ball hockey court and learning lab

 

SB: Does it get easier watching him play, worrying about him, worrying about what gets said on social media and the like now that he's been in the league such a long time?

JS: At the beginning, it was never easy when people would be critical. But now, I have a very thick skin, and plus, if I have an issue, Tyler will call me or I'll call him. If something was ever said that wasn't correct, he would definitely call me and say, 'Hey, mom, this is going to come out about something,' whatever it would be. And do I worry? Every game. If he's playing, every game. Every game, I worry. Every game. And I want to be on that next flight. He's, like, a man. He doesn't need his mom showing up, but that's a mom thing right? And that's what you have to try and tell him. But I want to be there. I don't worry about stuff on social media anymore because, you know what? I know the truth. And it doesn't matter what other people think. But at the beginning, his first couple of years, of course. I was uneducated. Now, I'm educated.

When I come to visit, he gives me his credit card and I go shopping for him. For him. Always for him. For his house. He has a cottage I decorated up north (in Ontario) and I make food. We never go out for dinner because I always cook for him. Because he wants home-cooked food. We'll go out maybe to the movies and I go to games, but when he was hurt -- when he was injured last May when he had surgery -- I came and took care of him there. I'll buy him, like, new dishes or I don't really fix. I just coordinate everything to make sure that we've hired someone to take care of the house, make sure it's being done properly, make sure the dogs are being taken care of.

This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Scott Burnside is a senior digital correspondent for DallasStars.com. You can follow him on Twitter @OvertimeScottB, and listen to his podcast.

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