Tyler Seguin met the media at American Airlines Center Tuesday morning, and his recent issues with social media took center stage.
A tweet posted on Seguin’s Twitter account that contained an anti-gay slur had the 21-year-old making headlines just days after being acquired by the Stars from Boston. Seguin said Tuesday it was the result of his account being hacked.
“Jim (Nill) and I talked about it and thought it was best that I shut down my Twitter,” said Seguin. “It was definitely unfortunate, the time period of all this happening. My Twitter, in fact, was taken over along with a few other things that have my name. It definitely didn’t feel good that my name was out there, saying negative things. I do want to apologize to anyone that was hurt by what I said, and I am definitely happy to be moving on.”
And moving on is what Nill and the Stars want Seguin to do. They want to put the social media issues behind him and look ahead.
“I think Twitter and social media is a major downfall of ours. Who are we do judge when you don’t know? That’s why I’m excited about today. It’s a chance for Tyler to turn the page,” said Nill. “He is starting a new career down here in Dallas. We had a great talk about it. He’s the only one who knows what happened over this Twitter situation and I just think it is time to move on and we’ll go from there. We’ve turned the page.”
The Stars are hoping that the addition of Seguin, and the team’s other offseason moves, will help the Stars turn a new page and get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Seguin, acquired in a seven-player deal with Boston on July 4, is the centerpiece addition for the Stars this summer.
“It’s a new start. It’s a new experience,” said Seguin. “I’m definitely excited to earn the respect of my new teammates, management and the fans.”
“We gave up some pretty good players to get him and he’s going to be a big part of this franchise moving forward,” said Nill. “We’re excited about a player like Tyler and we’re excited about the season coming up. It’s a great day for the Dallas Stars today.”
The Stars expect Seguin to be the team’s No. 1 center. That’s exciting for Seguin, a natural center who played wing during his time in Boston.
“Yeah, I’m very excited to be moving to center,” Seguin said. “It is my more natural position. I am happy to say that I’ve played wing as well and can be put in each area. I’m looking forward to playing center.”
Seguin was introduced to the media along with Shawn Horcoff, acquired from the Edmonton Oilers in a trade on July 5. The Stars sent defenseman Philip Larsen and a seventh-round pick in 2016 to the Oilers for Horcoff, who will bring a veteran presence.
“We need guys that know how to win, how to play every day, bring it to the rink every day,” said Nill. “I know Shawn going way back. I was fortunate enough to be at two World Championships with him. He helped me win two gold medals. I saw his work ethic, what he brings. He’s a true pro through and through.”
Horcoff had to waive his no-trade clause to complete the deal to the Stars. That meant leaving Edmonton, where he had played his entire NHL career. But he likes what Nill is doing in Dallas.
“I’m really excited. This is my first time going through it. I spent 13 years in Edmonton. For me, it was time for a change,” Horcoff said. “I think the biggest thing for me in deciding is I have a lot of belief in him (Nill), the fact that he is going to do the moves necessary to bring winning back here, to get in the playoffs and to get all the ingredients in order for us to do that. That really appealed to me.”
Horcoff, Seguin and Rich Peverly, also acquired in the deal from Boston, gave the Stars a boost at the center position, considered a weakness heading into the offseason.
“We’ve solidified our center ice position and I think it matches up against anybody in the league,” said Nill.
It’s been a big offseason for Nill and the Stars, who also added veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar in early June and then grabbed highly touted Valeri Nichushkin at the NHL Draft in New Jersey at the end of June.
“We’ve made a lot of changes,” said Nill. “What people don’t realize is you come to work every day trying to get better. But it’s tough. This is a very good league. We’re fortunate that at the right time, the right players became available.”