Milan Lucic confirms that he spoke with the Leafs, reveals why he turned down their offer on July 1st

Published August 1, 2023 at 3:30 PM
BY DEAN CHAUDHRY

Long-time Boston Bruin Milan Lucic has returned to where it all began for him in Boston this summer. He was originally drafted by the club in the 2nd round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He signed a one-year deal on the first day of free agency worth just $1 million dollars and helped the depleted Bruins depth chart.

The deal was essentially a foregone conclusion even before the free agent festivities were to begin, but it was revealed on an episode of Spittin' Chiclets, that he had interest from the Chicago Blackhawks and the Toronto Maple Leafs as well.

Going back to 2019, Brad Treliving who was the general manager for the Calgary Flames at the time, had acquired Lucic from the Edmonton Oilers in a trade that involved James Neal.

Lucic on the interest he received from the Leafs:


"Yeah. I talked to Tre a little bit, obviously because I had Tre in Calgary there. So, he expressed some interest, and I was like, 'Yeah, it would be tough for me to be a Leafer, just because of the Boston connection."

With Lucic not being able to fathom the idea of being a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs after his time with the Bruins - a time that provided serious fireworks - it forced Treliving to shift his focus elsewhere and he ended up signing enforcer Ryan Reaves to a three-year deal instead.

Lucic played in 8 seasons with the Bruins to start his career and scored 139 goals and 342 points with 772 PIMs along the way. Unfortunately the last 6 seasons have been rough on the veteran who has just 51 goals and 137 points in 444 games and is more so seen as a bottom-6 winger now.

Lucic was a part of the Bruins team that came back and defeated the Maple Leafs in Game 7 of the 2013 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals when Toronto had a 4-1 lead with over 10 minutes remaining in the third period. Lucic assisted on the Bruins 2nd goal and scored the 3rd goal that brought them within 1. He had 2 goals and 9 points in 7 games during the series as a whole.

Lucic believes that his strong performance for the gold-medal winning Canadian team at the World Championships helped him gain interest from several teams and he eventually said no to Chicago as well even though he was intrigued about playing with fellow-Vancouver-native, Connor Bedard:

"I think it actually helped me get the interest that I did for UFA on July 1 because of all the scouts and stuff that came out and watched."

"That's the biggest reason why I got a lot of interest is because I decided and called (Team Canada GM Doug Armstrong) to go to the world championships and played the way that I did."

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Milan Lucic confirms that he spoke with the Leafs, reveals why he turned down their offer on July 1st

Will Milan Lucic and Ryan Reaves drop the gloves with one another this season?

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