Former Boston Bruins heavy Milan Lucic is making his return to Boston as a member of the Los Angeles Kings, but for many fans in Boston, and frankly many fans around the NHL his legacy is still very much that of a Boston Bruin. In an incredibly open and honest piece for The Player's Tribune Lucic opened up and had some very powerful words to share.
On how green he was when he first arrived in Boston:
Tis is how naive I was when I got to Boston. Are you ready for this?
We had this really nice guy who worked for the team and handled all the road travel. He was in his early 70s. His name was Johnny, and he was just awesome. I was a 19-year-old kid in my first training camp. I didn’t know what the hell was going on. I didn’t know about NHL travel. I knew about WHL buses. So Johnny had my back. He was kind of like a cool grandfather to me.
One day after practice, I was sitting in the locker room talking to one of my teammates, and I was like, “Johnny’s a real nice guy, eh?”
He goes, “Johnny who?”
“You know, the road guy. Johnny. Can’t remember his last name.”
“You mean Johnny friggin’ Bucyk?!”
On learning about being traded on social media, and anticipating the phone call from the Bruins:
Half an hour later, I got a call from Don Sweeney of the Bruins.
I was being moved.
It was an emotional call on both ends. When you’re attached to a place like that, it’s very tough.
But in the end, I needed a new chapter. I needed to be closer to my family in Vancouver, especially after my father’s passing.
Everything that happened to me in Boston, I’m so grateful for. But coming to the Kings was really exciting.
Milan Lucic went to great lengths to express his love and appreciation for the city of Boston, and one of the things he stated really affected him was the roar of the crowd for his fights at TD Garden. Something he may look to relive very soon.
Coming back to the Garden for the first time this week, I’ll be battling the butterflies, for sure. Who knows, maybe I’ll just go out there and drop the mitts just to get the blood flowing. For old time’s sake.
We highly recommend you check out the full piece at The Player's Tribune, a really great look at Lucic's career from his own eyes.