By: Mike Sullivan | Follow me on Twitter @_MikeSullivan
When you think about a Black and Gold jersey with a big “17” plastered across the back, your mind thinks only one thing. Milan Lucic.
As described by Jack Edwards as a “Cult-hero, here in Boston,” Milan Lucic quickly grew woven within the fabrics of Boston. His pure size and strength instantly grew popular with the fanbase. Culturally, Bruins fans tend to love those nitty-gritty, grindy-type players. Guys like Derek Sanderson, Terry O’Reilly, and Shawn Thornton were always willing to mix it up.
Milan Lucic, born native to Vancouver, exploded onto the scene in 2006-2007 with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League. Scoring 68 points in 70 games. He produced while also being a wrecking ball with hits and fists flying around the ice. Lucic was drafted fifth overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins; the rest is history.
During his rookie season, Lucic scored 29 points, playing 77 games. Production was nothing crazy, but he immediately, and I mean Immediately, made his impact felt. In the very first shift of his NHL career, Milan Lucic found Nick Tarnasky of the San Jose Sharks and dropped the gloves. It wasn’t some wrestling fight, these guys were throwing hands, and a lot of those hands were thrown by Lucic. From that moment on, Milan Lucic became a staple of the Boston Bruins.
Lucic would go on to play 566 career games with the Boston Bruins. He would amass 139 goals and 203 assists for 342 points in that time. He would also spend 772 minutes in the penalty box. Milan Lucic was never leaned on to be a point-per-night type of player. Instead, he was leaned on to wear down the other team.
When Lucic was traded in the 2015 offseason for the 13th overall pick, Martin Jones, and a prospect, the 13th overall pick turned out to be Jakub Zboril. Lucic’s career would tail off into his later years with Edmonton and Calgary. He wasn’t producing as much, and the game accelerated right passed him. The game has gotten much quicker, and unfortunately for Lucic, he can’t move like he used to.
There are so many memories of Lucic to pick from. Whether it was his role in the 2011 Stanley Cup Championship, his goal against the Leafs in game 7 of the 2013 playoffs, sticking his fingers around Burrow’s mouth after he bit Bergeron, massive hits, giant fights, or just his demeanor as a Boston Bruin. Milan Lucic will forever be beloved as a Boston Bruin. So beloved that people were willing to tack on an extra six million dollars onto our already cap-strangled system just to have him back. I understand the love for him, I truly do. As a management decision, it can’t happen. Bringing Lucic back would solve nothing and make zero sense in any direction for this team.
17 days ladies and gentlemen. Bruins’ country, let’s ride.