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The Booze’s Lucic Contract Reaction

In: Sports

Posted By: The Booze at 1:51 pm

7 Oct 2009

Let’s go ahead and throw the Cam Neely comparisons out the window. As much as I love listening to Jack Edwards go nuts in the booth (This building is viiiibraaatiiing!!!), it’s time he stops drawing parallels there. Maybe one day soon he’ll notice that Brick changes the subject everytime it comes up. They have a similar build and physical presence, but Lucic is never going to reach the offensive caliber of a 50 in 50 type player. That said, does he deserve $4+ million/yr? Yes. Allow me to explain…

The popularity of hockey has taken a turn for the worst in the last decade. The post-Gretzky era stuggled to find an identity. Early on, some of the big market franchises like Boston, New York, Montreal were suffering from bad seasons or early playoff exits. Fair-weather markets like Anaheim and Tampa Bay found themselves atop the standings. Then, to top it all off, a whole season was lost due to salary cap negotiations.

When the game returned in 2005, the NHL decided to rebuild its image on the shoulders of Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. The new rule changes were implemented in favor of more goal-scoring. Gary Bettman decided to market the goal-scorers first and the rest of the game later.

This is exactly why you will hardly ever see Bruins stories on NHL.com or ESPN.com. Chiarelli doesn’t care about Gary Bettman’s plans. He continues to impress me with every move. If it weren’t for my own aspirations to take over his job, I’d lend my full support to his cause. He understands that goal scorers need to be complemented by a variety of role players.

Our offense is built around 2 of the best set-up men in the game (Savard and Krejci) and a young stud in his own right (Bergeron) returning to his old form and still winning a high percentage of faceoffs. Big bodied wingers like Lucic and Bitz stir it up in the corners. Recchi, Kobasew, and Sturm put rebounds in the back of the net. We’re not bringing lacrosse-style goals to the SC Top Ten. Our defense isn’t flashy, but they know when to stay “at-home” (Wideman is still learning) and when to be aggressive.

Ok, so I’m getting off track here. Let’s get back to Looch… Why is Lucic worth $4 million a year? Because he gives this team an identity. He can inject life into a struggling offense with one big hit or one big fight. He is also a rarity in the game today. It’s not often you have a bruiser with significant offensive skills (the guy played some 1st line last year). Guys like Donald Brashear or Georges Laraque hurt their teams. They are very poor skaters who take up space on the bench until they are needed for a fight. That’s like having a relief pitcher on your roster who only comes in to bean the star slugger. He also has a good head about him. He has kept his ego in check for the most part and doesn’t fight when it could potentially hurt the team’s momentum. Lucic is a young, durable, smart hockey player, whose offensive skills only have room to grow. LOCK IT UP.

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