The Boston Bruins followed the recent trend of signing players to long term extensions before the lockout, inking forward Milan Lucic to a three year contract extension worth $18 million. Lucic was set to become a restricted free agent next season, but with the uncertainity of the NHL collective bargaining agreement the Bruins wanted to get a deal done. Along with Lucic, the Bruins have locked up key players, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin, avoiding a potential offer sheet from rival clubs next off season.
Lucic had a very productive 2011-2012 season, recording 26 goals and 35 assists for the Bruins. While only 24 years old, Lucic has quite a bit of experience, playing in five regular seasons for Boston. He’s one the most physical forwards in the league and plays with an edge. He racked up 135 penalty minutes last year, often stepping in to drop the gloves for a teammate.
He was key part in helping the Bruins become Stanley Cup Champions a season ago over the Vancouver Canucks, posting five goals and 7 assists in 25 postseason games. Whenever the upcoming season starts, Lucic will likely play on the Bruins first line while earning time on Boston’s first power play unit.
With the new contract for Lucic, the Bruins have done an outstanding job of getting their core group of players under contract. Forward Nathan Horton and goaltender, Tukka Rask are the only remainin key players that have not yet been extended. Rask will likely be signed long term as Boston should move on from the Tim Thomas sage. Nathan Horton is a big question mark however, he’s had concussion history in the past and Bruins management should be wary in handing out another large contract, especially to a player who has had trouble staying healthy.