In the 2007 offseason, young Milan Lucic signed an entry-level contract out of training camp with the Boston Bruins at just 19 years old. He recorded his first fight in a 4-1 loss against the Dallas Stars in October. Just a week later, he tallied his first goal against none other than the Los Angeles Kings
That same night, he also achieved the famous Gordie Howe hat trick. Four years later, he found himself in the Stanley Cup playoffs defeating Montreal, sweeping Philadelphia, taking down Tampa Bay and clinching the cup after a seven game series with Vancouver. This was the organization’s first Stanley Cup since 1972.
Fast forward four more years, to June 26, 2015. The Boston Bruins deal away left wing Milan Lucic to Los Angeles for a goalie that was dealt elsewhere, 13th overall pick in the draft, and defenseman Colin Miller.
No one could come close to replacing such a class act or lack thereof, depending on how you look at it. Lucic was involved in many off-ice activities involving charities that went unnoticed by most people. He brought an element to the game like no other. His physicality on the ice contributed to the Big Bad Bruins every season. But, like some of his former teammates have commented recently, he is a rare human. He can play like a “goon” on the ice, but still put up near 30 goals in a season. He knew statistics like no other, the history of the game and just downright loved hockey. He influenced how the team played overall. When the tempo was not up to speed, he was the guy you could count on to set the tempo and pick it up.
David Krecji was the only one to give anyone else any recognition during the times when Lucic was in his prime in clutch situations. There were four other people on the ice and 15 more on the bench. They may have fed heavily off of his play, but he would have been nothing without the rest of the team at the time. The Bruins have changed a little bit because of the loss, but still play Boston hockey.
Lucic wrote a letter to the player’s tribune thanking Boston and the fans for everything they have done and for such a great experience in the city. “Loooch” cheers echoed throughout the Garden last night when Milan took the ice with his new team. During a stoppage in play early in the game, Lucic looked up to the jumbotron to a short video montage of his times in Boston. A mere 3:41 into the third period with LA already up 6-1, Lucic drove the net and found a bouncing puck, putting it in the back of the net past Jonas Gustavsson. This put LA up 7-1, but read 1-7 on the TD Garden scoreboard. Was this a signal from the hockey gods? Ill leave that up to you to decide. LA went on to win the game 9-2 by the end of it all. The win gave LA a great start to a seven game road trip. On the other hand, Boston needs to regain some momentum as they go on a six game road trip; they’re longest of the season. Lucic took a small lap around the rink following the game almost as a thank you for the fans of Boston.