Dean Lombardi executed a major move in acquiring Milan Lucic
just prior to the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, shoring up the Kings’ left wing position with some size that brought along a scoring touch.
Lucic didn’t disappoint in his first season in Los Angeles, racking up 55 points (20G, 35A) in 81 games, fitting in nicely to the Kings system after playing in Boston for the first eight years of his NHL career.
“You look at the season as a whole, and for myself, I really enjoyed it, I really enjoyed it as a whole,” Lucic said. “I enjoyed the move to LA and living here and being a part of this organization. I think the way the management, and the coaches, and the training staff treat the players is definitely first-class. I enjoyed being the new kid on the block, enjoyed getting the chance to play with all new teammates and stuff like that, it’s a really special group to be a part of, and I really enjoyed it for this season.”
The power forward brought a wealth of playoff experience, including one Stanley Cup championship, to a Kings locker room that already boasted a healthy bill of postseason success.
That, unfortunately, only added to the disappointment of the Kings’ Western Conference Quarterfinal loss.
“I think this team is capable of doing a lot more damage moving forward in the playoffs, I still think it’s a championship-caliber team, and it’s a team that I definitely want to be a part of moving forward,” he said. “It’s a team with a lot more to give, and hopefully being bounced out this early in the playoffs gives us the type right of motivation heading into the summer in our training and into next season. There’s a lot to be motivated about heading into next season.”
But where will Lucic carry that motivation once the 2016-’17 season begins?
What becomes of his high-praise for the Kings’ organization? His love for playing in Los Angeles?
“To be honest, I don’t really have much interest in hitting the open market, or even hearing what’s out there, because in my mind this is where I want to be,” he said. “Why flirt with something when you know what you want? That’s the case for me moving forward.”
There’s a lot to be figured out this summer, but for now, the hard-nosed winger will be staying local with his family.
“No reason to go on a beach vacation when it’s a couple blocks down the road.”
WATCH: End-of-Season Lucic Interview