Lucic: Lesson learned from North End incident

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Lucic: Lesson learned from North End incident

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins InsiderFollow @hackswithhaggs
Milan Lucic now knows hes got to be a bit more careful around the city of Boston.

The Bs power forward and emerging superstar learned as much last month when a heated, alcohol-involved argument between him and girlfriend Brittany Carnegie in their North End neighborhood became fodder for the rumor mill after the Boston Heralds Inside Track got involved.

The local media's spotlight on the Bruins has become so intensified that Lucic said the team recently had to deny outlandishquestions from one mediaoutletasking if there were strippers involved during the team's bonding trip to Great Diamond Island.

Media are stretching to get a story out of the hot commodity that is the Bruins. That's part of what happened to Lucic in September.

The painting of this summer's incident wasnt pretty once the Track was in possession of a police report focused on Lucic, though it didnt specifically contain Lucics name or his identity. It served as a valuable lesson for big No. 17 that things have changed slightly in his adopted city.

The privacy isnt there like it was when I was a rookie here. Thats the difference, said Lucic in his first public comments to CSNNE.com about the reported incident. Even though it was something made out of nothing -- and I still have to put the blame on myself for something even happening like that -- it was eye-opening for myself and I definitely learned a lesson."

The Inside Track reported that Lucic was angered by police and asked them, "Don't you know who I am?"

I know I haveto be smarter," Lucic said. "To everybody, Im really sorry if I offended anybody for what I did. For them bringing out the 'Dont you know who I am' thing, if you asked my friends and family Im the last guy that puts myself on a pedestal and expects special treatment.

I enjoy hanging out with the regular folk. I dont put myself on a pedestal and believe that Im a better person than them just because I play hockey. Thats not what Im about. I meant in the sense of Id never be doing what those people are saying because 'Do you know who I am? I have so much to lose.' Im only four years into my career and its still a young career. Thats what I meant by it.

Lucic was vilified for the comments in the police report and thrown into a negative light for the kind of heated argument that twenty-something couples engage in around the Boston area on a regular basis.

But Lucic is a Stanley Cup champion and 30-goal scorer, and he knows that any anonymity he once had in the city of Boston is now gone. The 23-year-old also takes responsibility for his actions that allowed it to get to the level where police and the media got involved, but it was pretty clear that it was a harmless incident on several levels: There were no charges filed, his girlfriend vehemently came to his defense the next day on Twitter, and the story died down very quickly afterward.

But Lucic has clearly learned his lesson.

Some things get made out of nothing, but it was eye-opening for me. Its something you put in the past and move on, said Lucic. You take it as a learning experience more than anything at this point.

It was a lesson that Lucic probably wishes he didn't have to learn, but it was something that every member of the Bruins team should probably pay attention to as the Boston media microscope trains on them for another season.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

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Hayes: 'I know I've got to bounce back and have a strong year'

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Hayes: 'I know I've got to bounce back and have a strong year'

DORCHESTER –Bruins general manager Don Sweeney spoke last weekend of the need for big winger Jimmy Hayes to step up next season if Loui Eriksson should indeed depart via free agency.

“I think Jimmy had a pretty good start to the year, but he really tailed off when the team needed him most. He should take some responsibility for that,” said Sweeney. “We had a pretty frank discussion about that to challenge him to take his game to another level, and be able to help out a younger player. He played a lot with Ryan Spooner.

“I have to put ownership on Jimmy in terms of saying ‘Hey, I have to take more responsibility. It’s not just about finishing and scoring goals.’ He has the capacity to do that. He gets power play time and net-front time, and he needs to get to the hard areas of the ice with more consistency. It’s an area that he needs to continue to improve upon. We as an organization feel that we need to have players that are driven to get better.”

Hayes heard that loud and clear just as he received the same message during exit interviews with the Bruins back in April, and knows that he needs to simply put more into next season.

Hayes’ numbers dropped from the previous season with the Florida Panthers, and he finished with 13 goals, 29 points and a minus-12 while going through long stretches where he completely disappeared on the ice. That’s a difficult thing for a 6-foot-6 forward to do, but Hayes managed while going weeks at a time without scoring and failing to play the big man’s game around the net on most nights.

The 26-year-old Hayes knows that needs to change for both his personal benefit and for the well-being of the Black and Gold this upcoming season.

“It’s definitely something that’s going to motivate me beyond just already motivating myself [this summer]. We had our own discussions [during exit interviews], and I know I’ve got to bounce back and have a strong season,” said Hayes. “I need to make sure I help my team win, and that’s what it’s all about. I want to be consistent and available every night to try get two points for our team, and get us as an organization back where we want to be.

“We just talked about how the season went, and we were really up-front with each other. We just want to continue to get better and more consistent, and get better through the season rather than have these spurts where you’re putting up numbers. And if you’re not scoring then you’ve got to find other ways to help the team win, and get to those areas where you’re going to get rewarded for going to those hard areas on a consistent basis.”

This isn’t the first time that Hayes has said all the right things about turning around his game, and really, truly living up to the hope he could be a big-bodied factor down low for the Black and Gold tipping, redirecting, screening and shoveling home rebounded pucks from areas all around the front of the net.