The Boston Bruins face old friend Milan Lucic and the Calgary Flames tonight, and. in preparation, I’m watching the highlights of the Boston Bruins’ miraculous comeback in Game 7 of the first round of the NHL playoffs in 2013 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Patrice Bergeron scored the game-tying and game-winning goals to win the game 5-4 in overtime after being down 4-1 in the third period. Bergeron! Bergeron! Bergeron! is the call forever etched in the memory banks of Bruins fans everywhere. But the real driving force in the comeback was winger Milan Lucic who buried a rebound of a Zdeno Chara shot to cut the Leafs’ lead to 4-3 with 1:22 to go in the third. After scoring, Lucic pumped his fist and looked to the scoreboard high above TD Garden, imploring his teammates that there was still time to tie it. This was vintage Lucic: big, tough, and a big game player with money on the line. The Bruins would advance to the Stanley Cup Finals, and Lucic was a key player, scoring seven goals with 12 assists in 22 games.
Lucic would play two more seasons in Boston, scoring 42 goals as his $6 million per year contract was expiring. Bostons decided to move on from Lucic amid a team rebuild and fears that Lucic’s size and style of play would wear the Vancouver native down. The Bruins traded the bruising forward to the Los Angeles Kings, and the Lucic era was over in Boston.
The Kings would retain Lucic for one year before the Edmonton Oilers would sign the former second-round pick to a seven-year, $42 million deal in 2016. Lucic’s numbers would decline steadily in Edmonton before he was dealt to Calgary in 2019. The bottom-six forward has been in Calgary for four seasons and has scored just 33 goals in 263 games.
As much as some Bruins fans would love to see it, there isn’t much room for the unrestricted free agent. But the lack of production has not changed Bruins fans’ view of their former star. Lucic’s name is brought up at every trade deadline as someone who can provide physicality and toughness for another Stanley Cup run. This season is no different, as the Bruins make a run at another title with the best team in hockey. Recently Boston acquired agitator Garnet Hathaway from Washington and possesses solid third and fourth lines that create matchup problems for opposing teams.
Boston Bruins fans romanticize about their incredible run to the Cup in 2011 and the miraculous comeback in 2013. Milan Lucic was a huge part of both great teams. But this edition of the Boston Bruins is stacked with talent and great leadership, things that Milan Lucic possessed years ago as a beloved member of the Boston Bruins. It remains to be seen if Lucic will retire or sign another deal to remain in the NHL. If the 6-foot-3, 240-pound wing decides to play, you can bet his name will be linked to the Bruins again this off-season.