The 2021 NHL offseason has officially begun as the Tampa Bay Lightning have repeated as Stanley Cup Champions. The first important date for the NHL offseason calendar is Friday as the first buyout period begins for all NHL teams. There is one name that the Boston Bruins should very seriously keep an eye out on regarding contract buyouts in the next 24 hours. After all, it’s never too late to return back to your origins. Right?
The Boston Bruins should bring back Calgary Flames forward Milan Lucic
One name that has come up regarding contracts that could be bought out is Calgary Flames forward Milan Lucic. Lucic, who is 33 years, is due $9 million dollars over the next two years of his six-year $42 million contract he signed with the Edmonton Oilers prior to the start of the 2016-2017 season. Keep in mind that out of the $9 million dollars he is owed, that $5.5 million dollars are his actual salary while the other $3.5 million dollars are signing bonuses.
The Bruins should very seriously consider bringing back Milan Lucic, but not for nostalgic reasons though. The reason being is because the Bruins have had major problems in recent years facing teams who are more physical than them in the postseason. Think about it: look at the last three teams the Bruins have lost to in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (St. Louis Blues in 2019, Tampa Bay Lightning in 2020, and New York Islanders in 2021). The one common factor that all three teams have had is they were much more physical in each of the respective series they played against the B’s. That is not a coincidence.
The bigger point that also needs to made is that if the Flames were to buy out Lucic’s contract and the Bruins were to bring back, the expectation is not for him to be a 30-goal scorer like he was in 2011. The expectation that should be had for him is to bring the physical element of his game to this team that has absolutely missed it the last few years.
As much as fans may complain about the lack of speed and skill, the most recent Stanley Cup winners have proven that you need grit to win the Stanley Cup and that the physical element of the game is as equally as important as goal scoring is. If you were to look at the 2018 Washington Capitals, 2019 St. Louis Blues, 2020 & 2021 Tampa Bay Lightning, what is one common factor between those teams that won it all? They all had the healthy mix of goal-scoring depth plus the physical element that made those teams absolutely dominant in the postseason.
The Bruins should very much keep an eye out on the Milan Lucic contract situation with the Calgary Flames. If the opportunity is there where he becomes available, the Bruins should pounce on it. The necessity of skill and physicality has never been more important than now especially for this Bruins team with aspirations to win at least one more Stanley Cup with this core group of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Krejci.