Over the weekend, Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic, and defenseman Charlie McAvoy were handed two very special envelopes.
Inside the envelopes were letters stating that they had been named to the “Historic 100” list. The list, which will be revealed in its entirety on September 12th, is part of the Bruins celebrations of their Centennial Season where they will list the 100 best players in franchise history.
While this partly lends itself to the theory that Boston is leaning towards naming McAvoy its next captain, there have been no official announcements from either team or from McAvoy himself.
McAvoy would certainly make sense, and fit the pattern, as only one out of the Bruins last three captains – Joe Thornton, Zdeno Chara, and Patrice Bergeron – was a more offensive-minded player, that being Thornton. Chara, for one, was a defenseman, and Bergeron, while he did score his fair share of goals, was very much a two-way player and had excellent defensive instincts.
McAvoy, so far has played in 380 NHL games, where he has scored 41 goals and racked up 189 assists (230 pts). On the other hand, Lucic has played in 566 games with the Bruins, where he has tallied 139 goals and 203 assists (342 pts).
While naming Lucic to the list could just be recognition of his play, it could also lend itself to a theory that has not yet been explored by many people – whether that is in the media or fans themselves.
What if Lucic was brought in to be the next captain?
Outside of fellow winger Brad Marchand, think about it, who is the most tenured player on the team? Much like Marchand, Lucic was there when Boston hoisted the cup in Vancouver back in 2011.
The only other two players on the current roster who were even in the National Hockey League at the time were Kevin Shattenkirk and James van Riemsdyk. At the time, Shattenkirk was sharing his first professional season with the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues, and van Riemsdyk with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Anyways, back to the main point. When Lucic re-signed with Boston it was unclear what his role would be. At the moment, the deal stands as a one-year deal worth only $1 million, but it stands to reason that Lucic doesn’t plan to leave anytime soon.
Whenever he is asked about how it feels to play for the Bruins again, he always says that it “feels like home” or that he “is so happy he’s back”. At the end of the day, he has only tested the free agency waters once in his entire career, but that was back eight years ago.
While his numbers have regressed over the years, Lucic’s loyalty to the city, and love of being back show to me that this one-year deal is more of a bridge deal, and that Boston general manager Don Sweeney, and the rest of his staff, will be working throughout the season on a longer term deal that will keep “Looch” back where it all began for the rest of his career.
Other guesses for the “Historic 100 List”
While there are still 98 names yet to be announced on the list here are a ten other candidates that are likely to be named:
-David Pastrnak, Right Wing (2014-present)
-Patrice Bergeron, Center (2003-23)
-David Krejci, Center (2006-23)
-Zdeno Chara, Defenseman (1996-2022)
-Tuukka Rask, Goaltender (2004-22)
-Bobby Orr, Defenseman (1966-78)
-Ray Bourque, Defenseman (1979-2001)
-Eddie Shore, Defenseman (1924-1947)
-Cam Neely, Right Wing (1983-96)
-Tim Thomas, Goaltender (1997-2014)