Lucic takes issue with being called 'cattle'

747879.jpg

Lucic takes issue with being called 'cattle'

FRAMINGHAM This might not exactly be a news flash, but NHL players apparently arent wild about being branded as cattle by NHL executives. That goes double during a time of labor strife.

In an interview with Island Sports News, Detroit Red Wings senior vice-president Jimmy Devellano made the following comments that earned him a 250,000 fine from the NHL.

I will tell you this: The owners can basically be viewed as the Ranch, and the players, and me included, are the cattle, Devellano said. The owners own the Ranch and allow the players to eat there. That's the way its always been and that's the way it will be forever. And the owners simply aren't going to let a union push them around. It's not going to happen."

The cattle comment begs the question as to when the last time anybody saw 20,000 excited people show up at a farm to watch a bunch of cows graze, but we digress.

Milan Lucic was polite, but rightfully put off, when he heard Devellano had singled him out, saying the he should be grateful hes making 6 million a year on his new contract. The Bs power forward, of course, agreed to a three-year, 18 million contract in the hours leading up to the Sept. 15 lockout date, and that clearly struck a chord with the well-respected Wings exec.

Devellano pointed to Lucic as the perfect example of an NHL player that should roll over and let the owners dictate whatever terms they like in CBA negotiations out of sheer appreciation for their contracts.

Yes, the owners are billionaires. Good on them, they deserve it, but they also make their employees millionaires. Not a bad trade off for a guy like Lucic getting what, 6 million dollars a year? said Devellano. I mean good on him too, but he should be grateful. Understand though that these players want for nothing . . . it's first class this, first class that, meal allowances, travel money on the road, the whole shebang. Offer sheets don't hurt the players one bit."

CSNNE.com caught up with Lucic on Monday morning making a visit to the Mary E. Stapleton Elementary School in Framingham for a question and answer session with the students sponsored by NMTW Community Credit Union. The Bs power forward had heard about Devellanos comments, and still couldnt quite understand why he had been singled out in a wide-ranging conversation with the candid Devellano.

"I guess I must be Grade A prime beef. I think were pretty good cattle if youre looking at it that way," Lucic said with a laugh. You definitely as a person dont like to be called cattle. Youd think people would treat you better than as just an animal. Obviously hes got his name on the Cup a lot of times. Im not going to say anything to disrespect him. But he said what he said and I kind of laughed at it. It is what it is.

He singled me out and I dont know where or why he even singled me out. For me from an athletes perspective you look at Devellano and what hes done in his hockey career, and respect what hes done for the game.

There were some eyebrows raised at the 6 million per year price tag on Lucics contract, and perhaps thats why Devellano went there with him. But Lucic is one of only three players that have accumulated 25 goals and 100 PIMs over each of the last two years, and hes still yet to hit his hockey prime at 24 years old.

After the school visit this morning Lucic was headed off to lunch with Celebrities for Charity Exec Cleon Daskalakis before an afternoon school visit in Lowell.

No word on if Lucic was going to skip eating a hamburger to retain solidarity with the rest of the cattle.

Heinen looking to show his offense in his shot on Krejci line

Heinen looking to show his offense in his shot on Krejci line

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins mixed things up with their roster a bit on Saturday after dropping a couple of games in a row to Washington and Colorado. 

Fourth-line energy winger Noel Acciari and playmaking forward Danton Heinen were called up from Providence and will be in the lineup against the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden on Saturday night. 
Acciari went to Providence the past couple of days to get some game action in after missing the past month with a lower body injury, but clearly showed he’s ready to go. 

So, Acciari is back to provide the same hard-hitting and energy he showed before he was hurt and Heinen is looking to show off a little more offense than in his first stint with the Black and Gold this season. He’ll be featured in a top role as left wing with David Krejci and David Backes and with marching orders to shoot the puck like he never shot it in his previous stint in Boston. 

For the Bruins, it’s about getting another look at a candidate to play left wing beside Krejci with both Ryan Spooner and Tim Schaller, with limitations to their respective games, unable to fully grasp that same opportunity. 

“My hope is that Heinen can come in and give us some good hockey. He’s a skill player and he’s been down there for a while, and he’s back up again because he’s been playing well,” said Claude Julien of the Bruins rookie, who had four goals and seven points in his past five games with Providence. “Hopefully he can play well here also. It’s about getting some confidence. When he went down to [the AHL] the pace of his game had to get a little bit better, and in the battles coming up with the puck along the walls. Those are the kinds of things we thought he could work on down in Providence.”

Heinen knows he needs to shoot the puck a bit more to show off his offense after a seven-game stint with the Bruins where he went scoreless, was a minus-2 and had just six shots on net.

“Being hard on the walls, playing fast and shooting the puck, those were all things I was working on [in Providence],” said Heinen, who has seven goals and 13 points in 13 games for the P-Bruins after being assigned to Providence. “I was doing what they told me to do [in Providence] and that’s shoot the puck. They were going in, and I was getting some good opportunities on the power play. It’s seriously tough to get chances [at the NHL level], so you can’t pass them up when you have chances. That was kind of my focus down there.”

Fellow fourth-line energy winger Anton Blidh has been shipped to Providence after three solid games with the Black and Gold. 

Julien said Blidh goes back to Providence having adequately shown that he can play in the NHL. He clearly showed the Bruins that he understands his role as a player that stirs things up a bit and gets his nose dirty on a regular basis.

“[Blidh] was fine. No issues there. He does his job. He plays with lots of energy and obviously he’s getting more experience. He’s a lot better at understanding his positioning within the game and what he has to do,” said Julien. “I thought he helped us out for the time that he was here.”

With Heinen and Acciari both in the lineup and Blidh back in Providence, that means Jimmy Hayes will be scratched after dressing for three of the past four games for Boston.

Saturday, Dec. 10: Vegas, scoring on NHL governors' minds

Saturday, Dec. 10: Vegas, scoring on NHL governors' minds

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while doing some early Christmas shopping ahead of the late rush. 

*Mike Zeisberger sits down with a quartet of NHL governors and discusses a number of hot topics including the Vegas franchise and scoring around the league. 

*Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos has been removed from the NHL Board of Governor’s Executive Committee amid rumors that the Canes might be a prime candidate for relocation. 

*Pierre McGuire weighs in on Connor McDavid’s war of words on the ice and Carey Price losing his mind in the crease against the New Jersey Devils. To that end, Wayne Gretzky liked seeing McDavid get a little combative at such a young age. 

*The New York Islanders signed Cal Clutterbuck to a five year contract extension, and some are skeptical it will turn out well for the Isles.

*David Pastrnak is a premier scoring threat in the league, and Scott Cullen has some details behind that. I will say this: his stock falling in the draft had less to do with his size or heaviness, and more to do with him being concussed for a long stretch of time during the year leading up to the draft. 

*The Florida Panthers are really struggling to stay positive with a 1-5-0 record since the ownership group and management decided to fire Gerard Gallant. 

*For something completely different: Baywatch stars then and now.