Milan Lucic, one of the centerpieces to the Boston Bruins over the past eight seasons including a Stanley Cup victory in 2011, has been traded to the Los Angeles Kings for goalie Martin Jones, prospect Colin Miller and the 13th pick in today’s draft. This is a major trade with major names on each side, but right now it looks like a lose-lose situation.
Looking at the Kings, they are getting Lucic, who at times has been more trouble than he is worth. During the handshake line following the 2014 series with the Montreal Canadiens, Lucic made threats and sang expletives to many of the opposing players. He even threatened Dale Weiss‘ life. In another game against the Canadiens, he had to be fined $5,000 for making a lewd gesture while sitting in the penalty box. He is always causing a headache for a head coach, something Darryl Sutter doesn’t really accept in his locker room. Plenty of teams would be perfect for Lucic, but the Kings don’t seem like it.
On top of that, Lucic looks to be on the downside of his career. He had his worst season since breaking out in 2010-11. He only scored 18 goals last year, which really hurt a team that couldn’t score. He is going to the Kings, who also were a surprisingly weak offense.
The Bruins’ side is pending as of right now. If the trade is as it looks right now, it is confusing at best. Martin Jones is one of the best goalies who has yet to get a chance. He has been behind Jonathan Quick for the past two seasons.
Last year, he was unstoppable when Quick went down. The one-two punch of Jones and Ben Scrivens is the reason why the Kings were able to stay so high in the Western Conference playoff race. This would be a very great pickup for the Bruins, but they already have Tuukka Rask in net. Last season, he played 70 of the team’s 82 games. There really isn’t much of a need for a backup, especially since Niklas Svedberg played so well behind him when called upon.
The first-round pick is always a wild card. This is an extremely deep draft, but picking now 13th, 14th and 15th could lead to overthinking the process. The Bruins didn’t need a rebuild, but they are making moves like they are.
Colin Miller could be the most interesting part of this deal. The hard-shooting defenseman could be a cornerstone to this team with Dougie Hamilton traded in an earlier deal. He had a shot calculated at 105.5 MPH at last year’s AHL All-Star weekend. He has some work to be done, but he could turn this deal around.
This will look completely different if the Bruins use the pieces in this deal to bring either a top-six forward or a top-five draft pick. Right now, the deal looks like it could be a bust from both sides. Especially with the Bruins agreeing to pay close to half of Lucic’s salary, it isn’t that much of a cap saver. The act of trading Lucic was not a bad idea, but the return could have been better if another team was on the other side. The Kings weren’t trading away Tyler Toffoli, so they should have been ruled out.
Who knows what other deals were on the table, but this doesn’t seem like the best return based on Boston’s needs. Right now, it isn’t a win for either side.