Again in Boston, Milan Lucic hopes to ‘carry the torch’ with the Bruins within the post-Bergeron period


“If you lose guys, there’s alternative for different guys to step into sure roles.”

Boston Bruins' Milan Lucic waves before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch prior to a baseball game between he Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles, Friday, Sept. 8, 2023, in Boston.
Milan Lucic threw out the primary pitch at Fenway Park on Friday evening. AP Picture/Michael Dwyer

Loads has modified because the final time Milan Lucic donned a black-and-gold sweater.

The 35-year-old winger is not any stranger to the pleasant confines of TD Backyard after logging eight NHL campaigns in Boston.

However studying the ins and outs of Warrior Ice Area — Boston’s apply facility unveiled a 12 months after Lucic was dealt to the Kings — is one other story.

“After I got here right here the primary day on Wednesday, I had to determine how one can get on this place,” Lucic stated Friday. “However clearly [it’s] actual good to be again within the Bruins’ colours and skating with all the fellows once more. So a few days right here to finish off the week into the weekend and excited for every part to get going right here.”

The amenities at Warrior characterize a major facelift from Lucic’s once-familiar environment at Ristuccia Area. However the Bruins’ apply rink is much from the one seismic shift throughout the group that Lucic might want to acclimate to.

After eight seasons spent in Los Angeles, Edmonton, and Calgary, Lucic has famous a number of occasions after placing pen to paper on his one-year contract with Boston that he’s “coming dwelling.” 

However in Boston’s dressing room, Lucic solely has scattered relics of the rosters he routinely helped anchor from 2007-15.

Gone are franchise stalwarts like Zdeno Chara, Tuukka Rask, David Krejci, and Patrice Bergeron.

As soon as a fresh-faced rookie who ingratiated himself to Bruins followers with glass-shattering checks and thunderous hooks, Lucic can be tasked with related duties in 2023-24 — simply as one of many elder statesmen on the roster.

“I needed to throw a little bit jab at him and inform him he’s the oldest man on the group now,” Lucic stated of 35-year-old Brad Marchand. “As a result of he does have me by a month.”

Lucic is now not the top-six stalwart whose snarl was routinely matched by his propensity to pot targets in Grade-A ice. He’ll doubtless be requested so as to add some heft to Boston’s checking unit on this revamped roster.

However past the variety of hits delivered and targets accrued, Lucic plans on stepping right into a higher function on a management hierarchy that misplaced a few of its high voices this summer time.

“If you lose guys, there’s alternative for different guys to step into sure roles. And for me, clearly, I believe it’s extra of a management function, bodily function, and simply being myself on a everyday foundation,” Lucic defined. “And people are the talks that I had with the administration group and the teaching workers, and most of all simply carry what I carry on a everyday foundation. And that’s having enjoyable, being within the NHL, but in addition when it’s go time, it’s go time.”

Even with the departures of many fixtures each on the ice and within the room, Lucic believes the present turnover felt throughout the Bruins is a transition that every one NHL golf equipment should endure, together with a number of the earlier Bruins golf equipment he performed for.

“After I acquired right here, we had the perfect defenseman with Zdeno,” Lucic famous. “You then had younger guys like myself, Krech and finally Marshy. You’ll be able to even throw Bergy in that blend. As a result of he’s not that a lot older than me and Krech. We had been younger guys pushing the older guys. The older guys had been of their prime, doing their factor.”

Though Lucic could now not be in his prime, he believes he has extra to provide to the group he cast many reminiscences with through the years.

The Bruins is perhaps charting a brand new chapter this season within the wake of Bergeron and Krejci’s retirement, however Lucic believes that the identification and tradition cultivated by these pivots isn’t going to wane any time quickly.

“I believe for me that’s most likely one of many greatest issues coming again, is to maintain that tradition and that identification, I suppose, going on this locker room,” Lucic stated. “If you lose guys, like these leaders, it offers different guys like myself a chance to step up and carry the torch. So, I believe that’s an enormous a part of my job this 12 months coming in. And like I stated, you bought to have enjoyable with it, you bought to look ahead to it regardless that it’s an enormous accountability.”