Milan Lucic scored 10 goals and 34 points last season for the Oilers. As you can probably remember it was a very disappointing season for the fans and himself. It’s an understatement to say that Lucic had an off year, and I feel for the guy. By going through a slump, not only is he not feeling right on the ice, but he wasn’t feeling right off the ice. I know my confident is shot after missing a few tosses in a row when playing laundry basketball with my socks; I couldn’t imagine what the big guy was going through last year after his poor season.
We were all hoping that Milan Lucic would return to main camp this season in better shape, and with a better attitude. Fortunately for us and him, it looks like that’s what happened. Lucic has only played one preseason game so far so I can’t speak much from my personal viewpoint of what I’ve seen from him. He didn’t look bad in his only game played, and he did pot a goal. Hopefully scoring right out of the gate is a good confidence boost for him.
Anyways, the reason I’m writing this article is because Peter Chiarelli spoke about Lucic on Toronto’s TSN 1050 earlier this morning and Chris Nichols captured a good quote from the interview.
“Physically six pounds lighter… The speed and agility testing we have four tests – I would probably say from last year to this year between 45 and 60 percent improvement. Significant improvement. You know those pro agility tests, those shuttle runs – significant improvement. You can see it on the ice.”
This is a breath of fresh air coming from Peter Chiarelli. Not only is it good news for the Oilers and the fans, but also for Lucic’s well-being. This is his career after all and we’re paying him a ton of money, so I’m glad to hear he’s been working hard on his game.
“Mentally, he’s told me he’s in a good spot. All his practices have been good. He’s on the power play, he’s making plays with the high-end guys, so I’m happy where he is. So that’s all I can say on him.”
I mean, this does kind of fall under the category of how ALL players come back to camp in the “best shape of their life” and at a much lower weight. I’m currently drinking all the Oilers hype juice I can right now so I’m not going to discredit Lucic. I’m going to give him the fair chance he deserves and then judge him after ten games.
I’m really hoping he can pull it together this season, and I really hope he can contribute to our playoff push or else it’s going to be another long offseason for him and the rest of us. All of us over at Oilersnation are rooting for him, and I hope the rest of the fanbase is too.
Milan Lucic’s last three seasons
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