Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Tyler Seguin was supposed to be the cornerstone on which the Boston Bruins would build upon for years to come.
Then in a flash this summer, the promising young forward was shipped to Dallas and that's when rumors of Seguin's bad behavior began to spread like wildfire.
On Tuesday, just four months after being sent to the Stars on July 4 as part of a blockbuster deal, Seguin is back in Beantown to prove the Bruins gave up on him too soon.
The Bruins selected Seguin with the second overall pick in the 2010 draft and expectations for him were elevated from the very beginning.
You see, Boston only had the No. 2 pick in 2010 thanks to the deal that sent star winger Phil Kessel to Toronto prior to the 2009-10 season. When the Maple Leafs finished last in Eastern Conference during Kessel's first year in Toronto, the pick turned out to be the second overall selection and that's when Boston pounced on Seguin.
For a while it seemed like the Bruins won the Kessel trade in a landslide. Although Kessel quickly became Toronto's best offensive weapon, it did little to move the dial for the Maple Leafs, who missed the playoffs in each of the speedy winger's first three seasons in Canada.
Meanwhile, the Bruins not only won their first Stanley Cup title since the days of Bobby Orr in the spring of 2011, but Seguin, a 19-year-old rookie at the time, also made an impact during that triumphant postseason.
It was if Seguin alone would make up for the loss of Kessel, to say nothing of the other players -- Jared Knight and Dougie Hamilton -- landed with picks acquired from Toronto in that famous trade.
Somehow it never turned out that way for Seguin and the Bruins. They'll always have the championship season of 2010-11 to celebrate but despite a promising start to their relationship, the marriage between Boston and Seguin wound up being a short and tumultuous one.
Although Seguin had an impressive sophomore campaign in Boston, notching 29 goals and 67 points over 81 games in 2011-12, things took a turn for the worse during the lockout-shortened season.
Seguin once again provided solid offensive contributions for the Bruins in 2013, recording 16 goals and 16 assists while playing in all 48 games during the truncated campaign, but a down postseason (1G, 7A in 22 games) and rumors of poor off-ice behavior (including accusations of heavy drinking) ultimately led to his being banished via trade last summer.
On July 4, Boston sent Seguin along with fellow NHL forward Rich Peverley and defensive prospect Ryan Button to Dallas in exchange for forward Loui Eriksson and a trio of prospects, including blueliner Joe Morrow, a former first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Almost immediately, Seguin seemed to prove the Bruins were right about his immature behavior. The 21-year-old's tenure in Dallas got off to a rough start in July when an offensive message was sent via his Twitter account. Although Seguin insists the tweet in question, which paraphrased an off-color quote from the film "Full Metal Jacket," was the result of hacking, the whole incident did little to change the public perception of Seguin as somebody who needed to grow up.
However, since that misstep early in his tenure with the Stars, Seguin has managed to fly under the radar. That's not to say it's been smooth sailing for the youngster in Big D, but at least he's been able to stay out of trouble so far. That means Seguin can begin the process of gaining his new team's trust after losing it with his old teammates in Boston.
In terms of production, Seguin has put his best foot forward in Dallas. He is currently leading the club with six goals and 15 points in 14 games and hopes to add to those totals in his return to Boston on Tuesday.
For a young player in the early stages of an NHL career like Seguin, the road is still a long one with twists and turns along the way. However, as Seguin prepares to make like the proverbial prodigal son and return to his former home, the worst things being said about him seem to be related to his inability to win a draw in the faceoff circle.
From where his reputation was following the trade, that's not the worst place to be.