Bruins Fans Need To Lower Expectations For Lucic For This Reason

Austin Sabourin
August 26, 2023  (6:30 PM)

Milan Lucic's return to the Boston Bruins has sparked a buzz during the 2023 offseason. The team signed him for a one-year deal worth $1 million as free agency kicked off on July 1, marking a homecoming that both Lucic and the franchise are thrilled about.

Originally drafted by the Bruins in the 2006 NHL Entry Level Draft at pick number 50, Lucic's journey began. His debut season in 2007-08 saw him play 77 games, scoring eight goals and 27 points. Over time, he became a key player during the team's victorious 2011 Stanley Cup campaign, boasting 62 points, including 30 goals, in the regular season, along with five goals and 12 points in the playoffs.
While the years have taken a toll on Lucic's performance, his recent positive experience at the World Championship this summer has renewed his confidence. Armed with his experience and a return to Boston, he holds the potential to exceed expectations in the upcoming 2023-24 season.
Traded to the Los Angeles Kings on June 26, 2015, Lucic embarked on a new chapter. This move, orchestrated by Don Sweeney in his early days as general manager, was deemed necessary due to cap constraints and the team's need for rebuilding. Although beloved by fans, the trade was a crucial step in the team's evolution.
Lucic found his stride with the Kings, subsequently landing a seven-year deal with the Edmonton Oilers in the 2016 free agency. Throughout the contract, his performance fluctuated, eventually leading to a trade to the Calgary Flames.
With his $42 million contract concluding this offseason, Lucic opted to rejoin the Bruins.
Despite a career-low performance last season, Lucic is poised for improvement in Boston. With the weight of his previous contract off his shoulders, he aims to excel in a bottom-six role, akin to Nick Foligno's contributions of 26 points, including 10 goals, in the previous season.
Lucic showcased his prowess on the international stage during the World Championship, contributing two goals and four points in 10 games. While tournament play differs, maintaining a pace of around .40 points per game over an 82-game season could yield a favorable outcome for the team.
Lucic's value extends beyond statistics. His leadership qualities, essential in the wake of retirements by Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, can guide the Bruins during this transitional phase. His experience and steady influence can provide crucial support to young players navigating the league.
Lucic's vast NHL experience could greatly benefit younger players in the bottom-six roles. If the Bruins opt for this developmental approach, Lucic's presence could be instrumental in fostering their growth and integrating them into the team.
While expectations for Lucic might not be sky-high, his potential impact on the team's dynamic, coupled with his contributions on and off the ice, might just make him one of the best-value signings of this year's free agency class.
Via thehockeywriters

NHL players in this story
Nick Foligno
Milan Lucic
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Bruins Fans Need To Lower Expectations For Lucic For This Reason

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