Unless the NHL and NHLPA can come to an agreement on a new CBA, the league will witness its second lockout in the last eight years and the third in Gary Bettman’s 20 years as commissioner. But that still doesn’t stop Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli from making another transaction before the midnight deadline.
After signing Brad Marchand to a four-year contract extension last week, and after extending Tyler Seguin’s contract for six years earlier this week, Chiarelli made more waves by signing Milan Lucic to a three-year contract extension worth $18 million making him the highest paid forward on the Black and Gold. Lucic and Chiarelli will speak to the media during a teleconference at 12 noon on Saturday.
Between Marchand’s, Seguin’s and Lucic’s contract, the three will make a combined $16.5 million per season and $70.5 million overall (and yet, the owners and Bettman are still complaining that they pay too much to their players). However, for a guy who has seen his share of inconsistencies Chiarelli might have overpaid a bit with Lucic.
After compiling career-highs in goals (30) 30 goals, points (72) and plus/minus (+28) in 79 games during the team’s Stanley Cup run in 2010-11, Lucic’s numbers took a bit of a hit this past season – despite a career-high 35 assits and seven power play goals – scoring 61 points and 26 goals and struggled mightily against in the team’s first round loss to the Washington Capitals, tallying just three assists. His most notable moment of 2011-12 came when he ran over Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller and avoided suspension.
Through 359 career games in his five seasons, the Vancouver native has compiled 212 points (90 goals, 122 assists) and 525 penalty minutes to go along with a plus-43 rating. During that span, the ex-Vancouver Giant has posted 35 points (15 goals, 20 assists) in 62 career postseason contests.
In addition, Lucic earned NESN’s “7th player award” during his rookie season in 2007-08 becoming the 10th player to accomplish that feat in his first career season. The 6-4 forward also earned the Eddie Shore award the very next year in 2008-09.
While his numbers are solid, Lucic’s five seasons are far from “elite”. And for a player who now has a higher cap hit than Jonathan Toews (former Stanley Cup MVP), Corey Perry (Hart Trophy winner in 2010-11), Marian Hossa, Ryan Getzlaf, James Neal and Bobby Ryan – just to name a few – Lucic might have his work cut out for him to make his contract extension worthwhile.