Milan Lucic is the newest member of the Los Angeles Kings.
At 6′ 3, 228 pounds, Lucic fits the bill with his new team’s emphasis on size but he brings more to the table than his physical stature.
in his eight seasons in the NHL thus far, Lucic has eclipsed the 20-goal plateau in three of those campaigns – including 2010-11 when he scored 30 – while eclipsing the 200-hit plateau four times, including a career-high 259 this past season while adding 18 goals, 26 assists and a +13.
With the likely scenario that both Justin Williams and Jarret Stoll will not be returning next season, the Kings were interested in acquiring a forward, and GM Dean Lombardi had asked the B’s about Lucic’s services at the end of the season. The interest, however, only gained traction in recent days and now the 27-year-old is a member of the Kings.
Lucic, however, will earn $6.5 million next season, but the good news is is that the Bruins will retain $2.7 million of that salary. Lucic will also be entering the final year of his contract.
In relation to the winger’s pending free agency, Dean Lombardi does believe that the culture in the Kings’ locker room will make those soon-to-be UFAs want to say, especially at a discount. Just ask the aforementioned Gaborik.
After all, Lucic is excited about joining the two-time Stanley Cup champion Kings.
“I think that’s the most exciting thing about moving from Boston; I get to a move to a team that already knows how to win,” Lucic said, according to NHL.com. “The possibility of playing with two really great players, (Kopitar) and (Gaborik), it’s a really great feeling … I think we’re top two or three n the league right now as far as contenders.”
Lombardi emphasized the importance of acquiring Lucic after re-signing pending restricted free agent Tyler Toffoli to a two-year, $6.5 million deal earlier in the day.
“Once this thing got rolling, we could not do this without Tyler signing,” Lombardi said, according to NHL.com.
In addition to what he can bring during the regular season, Lucic is also a proven commodity during playoff time. In 2011, his five goals and seven assists coupled with his bruising play and durability were instrumental in helping the Bruins win their first Stanley Cup since 1972.
There have been rumblings that Lucic is a sore loser – case in point: a 2014 incident with Montreal’s Dale Weise – but Lucic is, without a doubt, one of the most passionate players in the NHL today, and that is something yours truly feels that the Kings need more of next season. To name just one example, Lucic’s physical force was one of the – if not the biggest – driving force in Boston’s sweep of the rival Montreal Canadiens during the opening round of the 2009 playoffs, albeit it did earn him a one-game suspension.
Still, the former Vancouver Giant’s physical prowess coupled with a club that will be able to have a full rest this summer, unlike recent years, should make the silver-and-black a formidable opponent next season, returning them to a force to be reckoned with in the all-too-competitive Western Conference.
Welcome to Los Angeles, Milan Lucic.