BostonBruins.com — Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has made it increasingly clear this offseason that he and the franchise are invested in keeping together a B’s core that won a Stanley Cup in 2011.
On Saturday, the organization took another step in that direction, re-signing Milan Lucic to a three-year contract extension worth $6 million annually.
"It’s just part of us trying to extend our core players and keep this group together," Chiarelli told BostonBruins.com. “Obviously a big strong kid like Milan is—I know he’s a crowd favorite—and a very important part of this team.
"We’ve got him for four more years now. This coming year, and then three more after that."
When Lucic spoke with bostonbruinsTV, he echoed the general manager’s sentiments, and conveyed a desire for players that put on the Black & Gold not to relinquish the sweater.
"We love the city, we love the fans, we love being Boston Bruins," Lucic said. "I speak for everyone here as [saying] we couldn’t be happier to be in this spot."
Lucic was originally drafted by the Bruins in 2006, and has spent his entire career in Boston. The rugged, 6-foot-4 winger has seen his game gradually progress during his five-year tenure in the Black & Gold.
In the Bruins 2010-2011 championship season, Lucic set career highs in goals (30) and points (62). During the team’s postseason run to the Cup, Lucic recorded five goals and added seven assists.
"As a player I’ve always believed in Peter and [Head Coach] Claude [Julien] and what they were trying to build," Lucic said. "Obviously, spending most of time with Claude, him being my coach, his system is something that I got used to in juniors and it works well with me."
A Bruins fan favorite, the 24-year-old has used a skilled and physical game to draw the attention of the B’s faithful. Never one to shy away from dropping the gloves, Lucic has recorded over 120 penalty minutes in three separate seasons.
"This is a place where I’ve always wanted to be,” Lucic said. "Obviously, a big thanks to all the fans here.
"I think in Boston we have some of the best sports fans in the world, and they’ve embraced me, and without them I don’t think I’d be here either."