As I’m sure everyone has heard, Milan Lucic was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in late June. It was a business decision above all else and something that, unfortunately, had to be done to make way for a better Bruins future.
At first I misread rumors flying around about how and why the Bruins cleaned house over the summer, which means I also misread the dealing of Lucic to LA. I initially thought Lucic was dealt for locker room issues and things of that nature, but after reading his piece in the Players Tribune everything I thought over the summer disappeared.
He put his heart into what he said in the Tribune and actually made me kind of choked up by thinking of all of the things he helped change for the city of Boston.
If you have a handful of minutes to spare, I suggest you give it a read.
I always loved seeing Lucic out on the ice. His last season was kind of a slump-year for him, and that inspired a lot of doubt in how fans thought Lucic actually felt about being a Bruin. But other than a fraction of last season, Milan Lucic played his heart out any time the spoked B was on his chest. He resonated the spirit of Boston and deserved the love he got from New England.
If you don’t have the time to read the whole piece here’s a few bits I feel like everyone should read:
“When I came into the locker room the first day, I was just so happy to be around NHL players. Zdeno Chara walked in the room, and I was trying not to even make eye contact. I didn’t want him to think I was starstruck. I was so nervous and excited.”
- I just thought this was kind of weird because someone you see on national television playing in front of the world gets nervous and a little fan-boyish just like a regular guy.
“Hi, I’m Zdeno. Very nice to meet you.”
- I don’t know why but I laughed reading this. I can picture Chara lumbering across the locker room and saying this in broken English. Love it.
“Boston was full of guys who had my back. One of them was Shawn Thornton. Early on, he gave me some very valuable advice: ‘Listen. It’s not about how many times you beat somebody up. It’s about how many times you don’t get beat up. You don’t always have to win. Just don’t lose.’”
- I miss Thornton so, so much. Things like this are the reasons why. The Bruise Brothers Era was a great period of time in Boston.
“I knew I had to make my presence felt or I’d be on a plane back to Juniors. So my first game, I decided going in that I was going to drop the gloves. Just get it over with, you know? The night before the game, I looked up and down the Dallas Stars roster.”
- A lot of talk these days about ending fighting in hockey. Yet here’s a guy coming into the league, trying to make a difference, and is willing to drop the gloves just to make himself known right away to earn a roster spot. These guys literally do homework on who they might fight in their next game.
“So I hop over the boards and see Brad Winchester out there. Real tough guy. 6-foot-5. I don’t even think I had to say anything. I just kind of looked at him. He knew.”
- First shift for the B's. Immediately fights a guy. Is that Boston or what?
“Again, I barely remember the fight. What I remember — actually, what I will never forget — is the sound of the Garden when the referee was taking me to the box.
That roar. Oh my gosh. It’s the best.
After that game, I thought, Man, what if we could bring that Big Bad mentality back? This city is ready for it. They love it.”
- This proves how much he loved this city. He knew the cost of bringing life into the Boston squad and was willing to do it for Bruins nation.
“This summer, I was working out one morning when a buddy sent me a text. It was a picture of a Tweet from an NHL insider. (I’m not a big social media guy).”
- It kills me how often I hear of players not knowing they’re being traded until someone asks them about it. No one deserves to find out anything that way.
“Coming back to the Garden for the first time this week, I’ll be battling the butterflies, for sure. Who knows, maybe I’ll just go out there and drop the mitts just to get the blood flowing. For old time’s sake.
Boston: Thank you. For everything.”
-First off I need to see a fight between Lucic and Belesky. Need it.
-Second off, I’m not lying when I say I might tear up seeing him come back on the ice. Boston should put a montage up for him before or even during the game. He deserves that and a standing O.
This isn’t the first time Lucic thanked Boston. After he was shipped off he took out an ad in the Globe to give his thanks:
This is what it says if you can't read what's in the picture:
I was 19 when I joined the Boston Bruins, a very young man.
Now at 27, I must say goodbye to this special city. I lived my dream when we won the Stanley Cup. I married my wife here. Both my children were born here. Boston will always be a key part of who I am.
I played in front of a group of fans I will never forget, especially my pals in the North End.
I want to thank the entire Jacobs family, Cam Neely, Peter Chiarelli, Don Sweeney, Scott Bradley and the rest of the Bruins management team; coaches Claude Julien, Geoff Ward, Doug Houda, Doug Jarvis, Craig Ramsey [sic] and Joe Sacco; captain Zdeno Chara and the rest of my teammates; the medical staff, trainers and strength coaches who kept me going; and of course, all the fans and my friends.
Boston embraced me over the years and I would not be who I am personally or professionally without each of these special relationships.
To the people of Boston…
You ARE #BOSTONSTRONG
Thank you, Milan. I'm sorry for the times I have doubted you.