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July 7, 2013 | 10:32am ET
Tyler Seguin: Separating Legend from Fact
By Shawn Hutcheon,

BOSTON, MA -- Every year, the United States celebrates Independence Day on July Fourth. The country has been doing so for 237 years and perhaps the city that observes the holiday better than any American city is Boston.

Beantown's evening fireworks display over The Esplanade is legendary.

This year, Boston's fireworks started earlier than normal when Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli pulled the trigger on a blockbuster trade with the Dallas Stars sending defenseman Ryan Button along with forwards Rich Peverley and Tyler Seguin to Texas for forwards Loui Eriksson, Matt Fraser and Reilly Smith, and defenseman Joe Morrow.

Reaction from Boston was swift and strong. Many were taken by complete surprise and emotions ranged from shock to despair to anger. The Bruins were sending one of the most popular players to wear black and gold, Seguin, to another city and the "Seguinistas," the teenage girls who had crushes on the young star literally from the day he was drafted by the Bruins, to long time hockey fans could not believe it..

People took to social media to register their outrage. To them, the organization had given up on a 21-year-old budding superstar and they questioned the logic in swinging such a deal.

As the day wore on, stories began to surface on those same social media platforms about Seguin's propensity for partying and his off-ice lifestyle. After all, just days earlier, Chiarelli publicly said Seguin needed to become "a professional on and off the ice." The GM added that the third-year veteran needed to dedicate himself to being the best player he could be and that Seguin would "figure it out."

Narratives began circulating about Seguin attending all night soirees in Toronto during the playoffs. It was said that he wore the same clothes for three consecutive days because he did not have time to change before reporting to the arena for morning skates.

Adding fuel to the fire, an internet blogger came across some tweets and photographs showing Seguin throwing a Fourth of July party at a house on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Seguin did not do the tweeting nor the photography. A handful of invitees labeled the gathering as a "tradeparty."

The blog garnered much attention in Boston and once again people thought the worst of Seguin, although a very good source told me that he was planning on attending this event well before any trade. He was simply a young man celebrating America's birthday with his friends.

The timing may not have been the best, but there was no reason to cancel the get together. Seguin was doing what millions across the country were doing that day.

The most damaging report was found in a Boston newspaper which claimed Seguin needed to be put in a local hotel by the Bruins. It also read that he was under the supervision of a "guard" during the Stanley Cup Final. Allegedly, it was the "guard's" job to make sure the third line winger would not leave his room.

As everyone knows, writers use anonymous sources to feed them information about pending signings, trades, injuries and athletes' behaviors. Some sources do not get all of the "facts" correct or those "facts" become convoluted as they are conveyed to the writer. This particular writer is one of Boston's finest, but I will use this page to say that I have a source whom I trust more than any other and he has denied the report that a guard was posted at Seguin's hotel door. My source can deny the story because he was with Seguin at the player's condominium on the night in question. The former Boston forward was not sequestered in a hotel by the team and a bodyguard was not present. Before you ask, no, there was no party that night either.

I must admit, I have never interacted with Tyler Seguin away from the rink. I will also say I have never seen him taking part in Boston's nightlife. I have heard stories about his attending nightclubs and parties and like everyone else, I have seen pictures from when he attended them. I have heard that management and teammates had long talks with the young man about all of this. I cannot give first hand confirmation nor can I offer a first hand denial, but as I received more "information" about Seguin's "wild ways," I began to question the validity of other reports.

All of this reminds me of the classic cowboy movie "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," in which a writer learns all about the man (played by Jimmy Stewart) who is said to have killed the notorious outlaw, Liberty Valance. At the end of the film, Stewart's character admits that he did not shoot and kill the bad guy. The writer immediately rips up his notes. Upon seeing this, Stewart's character asks, "Aren't you going to use that?" And the biographer says, "No sir, when the legend becomes fact, print the legend."

Has Tyler Seguin been a choir boy during his stay in Boston? Well, honestly, there are too many stories out there to think that he has and Chiarelli's statement about him needing to be more professional speaks volumes. But I have my doubts that every account of a raucous lifestyle is true, yet, they are becoming legendary.

Chiarelli was correct when he said his former player "will figure it out." Seguin has no choice. His off-ice reputation may not get much lower. For Seguin, the legends have become facts and all are being printed.

Tyler Seguin is getting a new beginning now and for his career to flourish, he needs to be sure that the legends he leaves behind in Boston do not become facts in Dallas.

Shawn Hutcheon is the Boston Correspondent for The Fourth Period.

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