Atop a parkade in downtown Edmonton, with Rogers Place nestled in the backdrop, Oilers General Manager Peter Chiarelli addressed the media, formally welcoming the Oilers newest acquisition, Milan Lucic, to the organization
“Everything about this guy is terrific and he’s a good person,” said Chiarelli. “I’ve seen him lead on a number of occasions with the [Boston] Bruins, I’ve seen him carry a team [and] he respects good players. [It’s] a really great day for us and really happy to have him on our team.”
A signing that was highly anticipated the week leading up to the NHL's Free Agency day, it was finally made official when ink met paper. With that signing came a new start on a new team for the left-winger, as well as a reunion between he and Chiarelli.
“There’s a lot of familiarity there with me and Milan,” said Chiarelli, referring to his days back when he was General Manager of the Bruins from 2006-15, having joined the organization a year before Lucic was drafted by Boston.
“You can tell he’s a very sincere individual and he’s a terrific, impactful player. He’s going to change a lot of things here just by the way he plays, the way he leads. I’ve known him for a long time, I’ve seen him grow as a person and [am] so excited to have him here.”
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound left-winger has played 647 NHL games, recording 159 goals and 238 assists for 397 points.
Chiarelli says it’s a big signing for the Oilers and that there's a lot to be celebrated. With the acquisition of the 28-year-old, a player with a knack for creating an intimidating demeanor on the ice, Chiarelli said that Lucic’s dedication to the game off the ice is just as impactful.
“He’s a very thoughtful guy and he’s a student of the game also. You’ll learn that. He studies teams, how they play, I love the way he plays… He’s in terrific shape.”
Last season, Lucic posted 20 goals and 35 assists for 55 points in 81 games with the Los Angeles Kings.