Boston Bruins: Milan Lucic And Loui Eriksson Comparison

Apr 14, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings left wing Milan Lucic (17) warms up before the game one of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the San Jose Sharks at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 14, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings left wing Milan Lucic (17) warms up before the game one of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the San Jose Sharks at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

Boston Bruins: Milan Lucic And Loui Eriksson Comparison As Free Agency Looms

The Boston Bruins made the right call when they traded Milan Lucic last year.

When considering the fact that the big power-forward’s contract was set to expire following the season and the cap space the Bruins saved – $3,250,000 of his $6,000,000 contract – the return that Don Sweeney received was entirely worth what he gave up.

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To recap, the Bruins’ traded Lucic last off-season to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for their first round draft pick in 2015 – 13th overall, used to select Jakub Zboril – Martin Jones, and puck-moving, two-way defensive prospect Colin Miller. Following that transaction, the Bruins traded Martin Jones to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for their 2016 first round draft pick as well as college-prospect Sean Kuraly.

In total, the Bruins gained two first round draft picks, a highly-touted prospect in C. Miller, and college-prospect Kuraly for an expiring contract of a player who under-performed the season before due to inconsistency and injuries to David Krejci. It was more than likely that Lucic was going to price himself out of Boston at the end of his contract, and Don Sweeney pulled the trigger on a deal that was a no-brainer at the time.

Fast-forward one year, and Milan Lucic‘s contract demands may not be as exorbitant as expected.

As mentioned on The Fourth Period, Milan Lucic could be looking at a deal that would pay him $6,000,000 over the next six to eight years. The Kings would like to pay something around the $5,500,000 range, and over a four-year term.

The Bruins are currently looking to re-sign Loui Eriksson this off-season and the contract negotiations appear to be similar in terms of both dollar and length of the deal that Lucic and the Kings are dealing with. There are definitely some major differences when looking at the two forwards however, such as their age, injury history, point totals, possession numbers, and style of play.

Direct Comparisons Through Last Five-Seasons

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Lucic will be 28 when the season starts while Eriksson will be 31. Throughout Lucic’s career, he’s remained healthy. Over the last five seasons, the Vancouver-native has played in 369 of a possible 376 games. In that time, he’s posted 95 goals and 151 assists for 246 points as well as 461 penalty minutes.

Eriksson, on the other hand, was plagued by concussions in his first year in Boston. Despite that, the Swede has still played in 354 of a possible 376 games, with all but one of his missed-games missed coming in his first season in Boston. Eriksson’s ability to remain in the lineup prior to, and following his concussions has been a testament to his style of play and durability. In other words, he’s unlikely to receive too much wear-and-tear each season as a result. In his last five seasons, Eriksson has posted 80 goals and 147 assists for 227 points along with 52 penalty minutes.

Lucic is praised for his tough style of play, and the high penalty minute total is a testament to his willingness to drop the gloves, and lay out big hits while coming to the aid of his teammates when necessary. Eriksson, on the other-hand, is also lauded for his penalty minute total as it is so low each season.

In his career, Milan Lucic has always been an offense-first player, averaging 62.1 per cent of his zone starts in the offensive zone. With that in mind, Lucic has produced well by posting a 58.3 per cent Corsi For percentage.

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  • When looking at Eriksson’s zone starts, he has averaged a more even-split throughout his career than Lucic. The veteran winger is averaging 52.6 per cent of his zone starts in the offensive zone and 47.4 per cent in the defensive zone. His Corsi-For percentage is actually higher in Boston than it was in Dallas, and he’s averaging a 51.8 per cent Corsi-For over his career.

    In terms of resurgences, both players were able to have solid rebound seasons this year. Lucic scored 20 goals and added 35 assists for 55 points and 79 penalty minutes in 81 games as well as a plus-26 rating. Loui Eriksson posted 30 goals and 33 assists for 63 points and 12 penalty minutes in 82 games as well as a plus-13 rating.

    Both Eriksson and Lucic are valuable in their own respective ways, but given the lack of concussion-history, and tough-style-of-play that Lucic brings, he seems like the obvious best-fit alongside David Krejci. The Bruins made a conscious effort to get more physical last season by signing Matt Beleskey, and they have already made their intentions of getting heavier on the right-wing known this off-season.

    Milan Lucic has Moved on

    As it stands, the 6-foot-4 power forward is happy in Los Angeles, and would like to get a contract extension done sooner rather than later.

    “There’s been two or three little talks here and there,” Lucic said of his contract talks with LA. “My plan is to remain a king and hopefully finish of my career here.”

    It’s a hard pill to swallow as a Bruins’ fan to see someone who had all the makings of a Bruins-lifer, say he wants to finish his career in a different city, but hockey is a business first.

    "“If I could look eight, nine, 10 years down the road, hopefully I play that long. I hope it is right here in L.A. and that something can get done and conversations can get picked up in the near future because I really have enjoyed my time this season and love being a King and living here in L.A.” – Milan Lucic, via Sportsnet,"

    Next: Loui Eriksson Contract Talks Progressing Well

    It’s hard to not lament the loss of Lucic from the Bruins lineup. It’s very unlikely that the Bruins will contact Lucic this off-season in an attempt to sign him to a new contract, and the former-Bruin may not be interested in re-joining his old club anyway. Loui Eriksson, despite his age, should be a valuable player for the Bruins’ over the course of his new contract, should he and the club find common-ground prior to July 1, it just won’t be the same as Milan Lucic.