Lucic Should Remain at the Garden
Recently, CSNNE anchor Mike Giardi commented on the Boston Bruins trading Milan Lucic, who played alongside David Krejci and Jarome Iginla in one of the NHL’s most effective regular season groups. He declares that Lucic should be the first Bruin sent packing this offseason.
“Milan Lucic has cement shoes,” said Giardi. “I know he’s a nice, little compliment and he gives you that ‘Big Bad Bruin’ attitude. But he’s the guy, if I’m Peter Chiarelli in the offseason, the first name I dangle is his name. I think they need some speed and some creativity to finish with David Krejci.”
Giardi isn’t looking at the big picture, though. Lucic didn’t have a great postseason for the Bruins, and yes, he does horribly lack touch and finesse at times when you wish he could break out skating ability. But one can’t ignore the 25-year-old Canadian’s production this season–24 goals and 35 assists (second on the team behind Bergeron) in 80 appearances. Losing that caliber of player, regardless if he adheres to a certain “speedy” mold, isn’t in the Bruins best interest.
He did have some attitude issues towards the end of the playoffs, that whole handshake fiasco at the conclusion of the Eastern Conference semifinals. To me, attacking players during a time that’s supposed to reflect sportsmanship is unacceptable. Yet, it’s understandable that frustration over unmet expectations can cause somebody to lose their cool.
And calling penalty minutes Lucic’s greatest flaw makes sense. He maintained the greatest number of penalty time on the B’s during the 82-game season, but he showed he could restrain himself in the postseason with four penalty minutes.
As for the playoffs this year, it’s hard to place a lot of blame on the former Vancouver Giant because the whole team collapse against Montreal. Plus, Lucic rose to attention in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, as a top-quality Bruins’ scorer and playmaker, so don’t doubt his personal ability; it was a team defeat vs. the Canadiens.
In the end, who could actually replace Lucic and bring that vital speed element to the Bruins? To be honest, there isn’t an possible free-agent forward able to obviously retain such high numbers as Lucic. Mike Cammalleri of the Calgary Flames and Radim Vrbata suit the Bruins criteria in the finesse department, but they’re both too old, 31 and 32 years of age respectively. They most likely couldn’t match Lucic’s stats, too.
Therefore, you keep Lucic and snag a skater capable of making Boston quicker, whether that person be a forward or a defenseman.