Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Boston Bruins

Transcript: 09.15 Chiarelli, Lucic Conference Call, Re: Contract Extension

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins


September 15

Peter Chiarelli opening statement…
On behalf of the Bruins I’d like to announce the signing of Milan to a three-year contract extension with an average value of $6 million per year. Milan has a year left on his deal, and we just recently concluded negotiating and finalizing this extension. You’re all familiar with Milan and the way he plays. A real, obviously solid contributor, big - I call him a kind of signature player. Loves to play, loves to be physical, and a big part of this team. He marks the end of three signings that we’ve done over a couple of weeks and very happy to have completed them, with Milan being the last one for now. I think it shows commitment from Milan, the other players that we’ve talked about previously, and commitment from our owner, Mr. Jeremy Jacobs, and Charlie Jacobs. So a good day for us amidst other things, but happy to have Milan in the mix for your more years - one more under the current contract and three under the new contract.

Milan Lucic opening statement…
First off I’d just like to thanks Mr. Jacobs and the whole Jacobs family and the whole Bruins organization for this new opportunity. Obviously, I’ve spent five great years here in Boston, and I’ve really embraced this city and the Boston Bruins and they’ve embraced me. I’m really excited for this, and I’m happy to be remaining a Bruin. There’s no other team in the NHL I’d rather play for. Like I said, I’m real excited about this opportunity and happy this deal got done.

On if this is a day of mixed emotions with the impending labor situation (Ira Podell, Associated Press)…

Milan Lucic
I mean obviously it’s definitely an exciting day for myself. I’ve really enjoyed being in Boston and playing for the Bruins, and like I said in my statement, it’s definitely the one play and only place I want to play in the NHL. I’m definitely excited that I have four years left as a Boston Bruin. As far as the union stuff goes, obviously a lot of stuff still needs to be sorted out and hopefully things will heat up in these next couple of weeks in sorting the NHL out. But as far as my excitement goes, I’m definitely very excited, like I said, for this opportunity, and I can’t thank Peter enough and the Jacobs family enough for everything that’s gone on these last couple of days.

On if he’s concerned about the length of the upcoming season or how long a potential work stoppage could last (Ira Podell, Associated Press)…
Milan Lucic
Obviously there’s some type of concern. There’s not much more comments or info I can make that would be significant than what you’ve heard from Don [Fehr] and Gary [Bettman] and in their press conferences that they had a couple of days ago. There’s obviously a little bit of concern, but right now all you can do is stay optimistic and stay positive and hope that a deal will get done.

On the advantage of having a proactive approach and locking up core players (Kirk Luedeke, New England Hockey Journal)…
Peter Chiarelli
Well it’s a two-way street. The player has to want to stay. So we’ve got a good group of players that want to stay; then, in turn, that we want to re-sign. Again, it goes back to – it was a comment I made the other day, I can’t remember in what forum - it was about the players that you know, you know their idiosyncrasies, you know their assets, they know you, there’s a level of comfort, there’s a level of trust. So, nothing more than that. These are good people and real good players that have performed for us over time, and that have come up through our system at various points. So there’s no real secret to the success but I can stress that it takes the player and it takes the team to both be in concert here. But we try and to the extent that we can to be equitable and fair and transparent and win. So that might be the biggest denominator that we try -and we have been winning - so we will continue to use this approach, and a guy like Milan is a perfect example.

On what it means to be a Boston Bruin, now having been with the team for six years and having the opportunity to stay with the team that drafted him (Kirk Luedeke, New England Hockey Journal)…
Milan Lucic
It means a lot. It definitely means a lot that the management and the ownership believe in me, and have given me this opportunity. As Peter said, we believe in the team’s play, and I also believe in the team that we have here, that we are competitive. Being an athlete in Boston, I got to say has been one of the best experiences my whole life, and to be able to continue doing that is definitely a dream come true. To be embraced by all the fans here has been awesome. And to be embraced by my teammates and the organization, I cant’ say enough for how thankful I am, and everything that comes with it. Like I said, I’m just real happy that I get to be in a place where I want to be for three more years with this extension and I believe in what Peter has done, and everything he has done in the six years as the general manager here, and I’m happy that he’s more than willing to be a big part of the puzzle.

On Peter Chiarelli keeping the core of the team together throughout the past few years and how attractive that approach was for him to stay with the Bruins (James Murphy, ESPN Boston)…
Milan Lucic
Well it was very attractive. Him keeping all the core guys, and guys that I’ve built really good relationships with here. That’s obviously makes you want to stay more. You know like I said before, he believes in all of us as players, and we believe in him in what he’s trying to build here, and a great thing that I’ve learned and what the Bruins have been preaching more than anything is it’s been about team and everyone being on the same page. Peter has definitely done a good job of finding guys who are willing to sacrifice and be on the same page, and I think that’s why we’re a real competitive team. Obviously, we achieved our ultimate goal in 2011 and we plan to do the same heading into the future.

On if there is more pressure on him with the new contract, or if he will embrace it as a challenge (James Murphy, ESPN Boston)…
Milan Lucic
Well I think you have to view it as both ways, like you mentioned. There’s obviously going to be more pressure with making more money and you also have to embrace that challenge and embrace the struggle that it takes to win. I think going through it all and winning it [Stanley Cup] and then the next year falling short in the first round, getting a lot of time to think about it in the summer. I know from talking to the teammates, I think it all makes us aware because we had that feeling, but then we lost it and then we want to do whatever we can to get our hands on the Cup again, so we definitely have to embrace the struggle and embrace the challenges that are going to be faced along the way. But definitely now that we’re more of a talk of the town here in Boston, there’s obviously pressure that comes with that.

On if he has looked into plans about playing elsewhere during a possible work stoppage (James Murphy)…
Milan Lucic
As of right now, I have not. I know I told some of the guys yesterday that my plan was to play for the Boston Bruins this year and right now it’s the same. Obviously if it goes on longer than most of us expect, then I’ll have to look into something, but as of right now, I have not looked into playing elsewhere.

On if when drafting this plan of signing core players (Milan Lucic, Tyler Seguin, Brad Marchand), there were concerns from the business side, outside of hockey operations (Fluto Shinzawa, Boston Globe)…
Peter Chiarelli
I think we all can spin things certain ways and just to simply say X number of dollars in a week by us or in a day by the league [NHL] or whatever. Obviously, there is significance to those comments, but we’re talking about future years, were talking about core players. And you have to remember that we didn’t bring anyone in here, we didn’t bring anyone in here in the summer. We’ve got a sizable chunk of inactive money. So these numbers are big, we’re trying to keep out players, specifically our forwards in clusters so that there’s an element of equity to it. So there is a lot of planning, but there is an element of caution. But we’re talking about future years here and core players. So, we think that we’ve managed it with some semblance of fiscal responsibility and, you know, we’ve got a pretty good track record so far. Part of managing a team is being fiscally responsible and making the right decisions so we’re just trying to continue to do that, and understanding and respecting and obviously we’re going to be in a new system and knowing that there has to be elements where you can shed and you have to have some flexibility. The business side of it is important - we don’t ignore it and we obviously have to abide by any rules that they give us. Part of our job is to project on the players and project on player costs. Just an everyday task. 

On if this is the last business he’ll address before midnight (Fluto Shinzawa, Boston Globe)…
Peter Chiarelli
Yes, I can say that with certainty.

On if his own expectations of himself will change with his new deal (DJ Bean,…
Milan Lucic
As a player and as a competitor, you want to try to do whatever you can to get better every year. Right now, you know, I feel like the last two seasons, I’ve had really good seasons. I feel like my game is continuing to grow. I feel like right now I am heading into the prime years of my career and I want to do whatever I can to help my team win and hopefully win another championship. Like I said, now that I’ve been given this opportunity to be a big part of the puzzle, as much as I’ll have pressure from you guys, you definitely put pressure on yourself to perform. It’s up to me to elevate my game and bring it to a certain standard and that’s the responsibility of being an athlete. I know what that responsibility is now. After spending the last five years in the league, you know how hard it is to play day in and day out in the NHL. I’m excited and I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead. I want to do whatever I can to be the best player I can be for the Boston Bruins.

On if something changed last minute that allowed for the extension to happen (Mike Loftus, Patriot Ledger)…
Milan Lucic
No disrespect to any of you guys, but I kind wanted to keep it quiet. I knew the talks between myself and Peter were starting to heat up, but I definitely wanted to keep quite within the room and media. That’s why I played it off the way that I did.
Peter Chiarelli
And I had asked Looch that also, so I’ll take part of the blame.

On what it means to see his teammates getting long-term extensions and having a good idea of the team he’ll be on the next few years (Mike Loftus, Patriot Ledger)…

Milan Lucic
It’s great. I think that we’ve built something really good here as a team and as an organization., and obviously Peter is the architect of all that. I mean, like what we’ve all been talking about, it’s a really good core group here, everyone looks like they’re locked in with their contracts. It’s the same group of guys who were a part of the 2011 run. We know what to expect from each other and we know what to expect from the team. I think a great thing that we have in the dressing room right now is that we hold each other accountable. I think that’s what makes us such a good team, a good strong team. We’re going to keep doing that and try to make ourselves better.

On what he was thinking of getting the deal done now, rather than maybe waiting until a new CBA is in place (Joe Haggerty)…
Milan Lucic
I just felt at this point in my life, that getting a deal done right now was the right time, and it was with the team that I want to be with. Like I said, it just felt like the right time at this point in my life, and that’s why we went ahead and got a deal done.

On if he feels there is a leadership aspect to being one of the big pieces of the puzzle on the team and the Bruins’ highest paid forward (Joe Haggerty)…
Milan Lucic
Yeah, definitely. I’ve been here for the last five years. All of the years have been with Claude, and so you kind of know how things operate and how things work, and with having younger guys coming in, you have to take it upon yourself to try to help them out and take on a leadership role. Like you said, with me making as much as I am now, obviously there is more responsibility that comes along. And I felt like I’ve matured as a player, and matured as a person where I can help out in more ways. Like I’ve said many times, I’m excited for this and I’m looking forward to all this. I’ve always been a positive person and I want to keep continue being this way and then hopefully everything will work itself out.

On if there was any thought to wait until the new CBA comes into effect to get the long-term deals done, or if it was outweighed by the concern of keeping the team’s nucleus together (Joe Haggerty,
Peter Chiarelli
I wouldn’t call it far outweighing, but it did outweigh it at the end of the day, meaning kind of the impotence to get some these core guys locked up. There’s so much uncertainty going forward that I would rather make decisions - and I know these are big numbers we’ve given these guys the past little bit - but they’re deserving of them, they’re all very good players, and they’re core guys. So at the end of the day it was more about keeping the core together. But I don’t just throw caution to the wind. We’ve got to do planning, and we’ve got to go through a bunch of scenarios depending on what the system will be going forward. We feel that we’ve got some latitude going forward and based on that we decided to lock these three guys up, with Looch being the last one.

On what his take is on the Northeast Division “beefing up” its rosters and if he has been working with Shawn Thornton this summer (Mick Colageo, The Standard-Times)…

Milan Lucic
Yeah I mean, obviously teams are definitely beefed up in our division. Probably trying to be more competitive against us in that department. Me and Shawn [Thornton], we’ve been together for five years now, and we’ve definitely created a real good relationship between the two of us. We have a lot of respect for one another. I know he does some boxing over the summer and I’ve been working with his guy since I’ve been back for the past month, with Tommy [trainer]. But it has nothing to do with the other teams beefing up; it’s just something that the both of us do, part of our training regimen during the summer. I think the most important thing, as a team that we always look at no matter what the opponent is, is we want to win the hockey game. We’re not too worried about the fights and all that type of stuff.

On where he sees Lucic’s contract and value fitting into the structure of the team (Naoko Funayama, NESN)…
Peter Chiarelli
I said earlier about trying to maintain clusters of players, and I understand that there’s going to be certain levels of compensation for certain levels of players. We’re trying to put them in a cluster so that the difference between a Milan and someone else isn’t so much. There’s certain values that are placed on certain elements of the game, there’s certain values placed on the term of a deal, long-term versus a shorter term. So there’s a lot of different things you have to balance. You know, Milan is a very good player, and he’s a very good player on our team. This is a deal that both sides were comfortable with. It gives us, under the current system; it gives us two years of UFA, which is huge. It gives Milan an ability to get back to the market in four years, but still there’s an element of security. You heard him talk about playing with a team in the city he loves. So it makes sense. There’s no, again, magical formula to see who ends up where, and for how long, and for what amount. There’s certain things you have to look at, and it’s my job to figure those out, so that’s how we ended up with this deal.

On what the next phase of his career is and where the next bar is (Naoko Funayama, NESN)…

Milan Lucic
Like I talked about, being a competitor and a player here in the NHL, you always want to push yourself to get better every year. As of the last two years I think I’ve set a much higher standard for myself and, as a competitor you want to keep pushing that standard. There’s obviously a lot of sacrifices and a lot of responsibilities that have to be made on and off the ice, and those are things that I have to take upon myself to work on and do my best to get better at. I’m definitely more than willing to do that, and like I said, it’s on me to live up to my expectations. It’s up to me to push the bar for myself.

Peter Chiarelli
What I can add is that—and this can apply to any of our players, and they can all attest that they probably heard it from me, or the coaches—is consistency. It’s just something that all players strive to improve. Milan’s game is a unique game, and for him to be consistent at a more consistent pace and level would be even better than what we’re getting right now. We all want to be more consistent, including myself, so that’s what I can add.

On if he can confirm whether Tyler Seguin is eligible play for the AHL’s Providence Bruins during a possible work stoppage (Naoko Funayama, NESN)…
Peter Chiarelli
Yeah, well he would have had to clear waivers. So I guess he’s eligible, as anyone would be eligible if they had cleared waivers. So we chose, and I think wisely, chose not to put him on waivers. I don’t know, there’s certain rules and guidelines that will come forward in short order that may allow him, may not. Again, I don’t know, this is probably a discussion I have to have - But bottom line is he was eligible for waivers and we didn’t put him on waivers.

On if he had in the back of his mind while signing this deal the possibility of a new CBA situation and salary cap causing him or his teammates to be moved from the roster in the future (Dan Cagen, MetroWest Daily News)…
Milan Lucic
Not really right now. I mean, I’m obviously just excited about everything that’s gone on right now. Obviously, I wish I could tell you what could be happening here in the future, but as of right now, I’m just excited that I’ve been extended here in Boston, and that’s basically all I’m feeling right now. But I haven’t really thought too much into what your question is.

View More