Milan Lucic

Fitness no issue this time around for Lucic


Milan Lucic fully admitted he wasn’t in the best shape coming out of the lockout in January. This time around, however, fitness doesn’t sound like an issue for the big Bruins winger.

From CSN New England:

He spent much of the offseason in Vancouver working out with Vancouver Giants strength and conditioning guru Ian Gallagher, along with fellow Giants alums Brendan Gallagher and Calgary Flames forward Lance Bouma. Lucic had to work feverishly to catch up to the other NHL guys in their regimented off-season workouts after he’d played so deep into the summer with the Stanley Cup Final rolling into deep June.

Lucic says he found offseason motivation in not wanting to disappoint people again. And for 2013-14, his coach is expecting big things.

“There’s no doubt he came in good shape [this year],” said Claude Julien. “He’s got a good focus. He’s a guy that’s been a leader on every team that he’s been on, so there’s no doubt he wants to be a good leader for our hockey club. He’s a guy that’s going to be very good for us this year. I’m very confident about that.”

Lucic, 25, had a tough regular season in 2013 — he was even a healthy scratch once in April — but he found his game in the playoffs, scoring seven times with 12 assists in 22 games as the B’s made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.

Report: Sean Avery was arrested last week

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From the Southampton Press:

Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.

According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.

Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.

As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”

He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.

Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?

H/t Gawker

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.