Kings bolster roster by acquiring Milan Lucic from Boston Bruins
The Kings didn’t waste any time in Florida, pulling off a major trade with the Boston Bruins to acquire power forward Milan Lucic in exchange for three significant pieces.
Acquiring Lucic came at a high price.
Boston will receive the Kings’ No. 1 pick in Friday’s entry draft -- 13th overall -- as well as backup goalie Martin Jones and defenseman Colin Miller from their minor league affiliate in Manchester, N.H.
The Bruins also will pick up $2.75 million of Lucic’s salary for next season, a source noting that it was the “only way it worked.”
In 34 career appearances with the Kings, Jones was 16-11-2 with seven shutouts. He matched the rookie record of Bob Froese when he won his first eight starts to open his NHL career, in the 2013-14 season.
You might say that Lucic is a prototypical Darryl Sutter player. Sutter, the Kings’ coach, is known for preferring big physical players, and 6-foot-4, 235-pound Lucic comes right out of central casting. To be effective, he needs a playmaking center, and the Kings have that in Anze Kopitar.
Lucic will be an unrestricted free agent after next season, and players in that category have become the most marketable right now. Teams fear losing those big assets for nothing, resulting in plenty of the trade buzz.
Kings Assistant General Manager Rob Blake said the deal came together quickly.
“We do our lists all year on different players whether it’s power forwards or skill forwards. He’s always been at the top of the list,” Blake said in a telephone interview with The Times. “We felt he always had a secure home in Boston and it wasn’t until late last night that his name came into play with us.
“He’s got a pretty straightforward game,” Blake added. “He’s up and down [the ice]. He’s got a good finish for a big man. And he commands a ton of respect in the league. We’re looking forward to those options up front, for sure.
“There are not a lot of opportunities to add a guy like Lucic. You don’t see these very often.”
Blake said the fit worked for what the General Manager Dean Lombardi and the Kings are trying to do.
“That type of player, in that type of situation, if he is alongside [Anze] Kopitar, and also his [physical] style,” he said. “The style that Dean has built here and reputation of the Kings. If he happens to be on a line with Kopitar and [Marian] Gaborik, I think Gaborik has enough speed on that line obviously. I don’t think Lucic is a slow player by any means.”
Lucic was scheduled for a conference call with the media later on Friday.
But he spoke earlier with James Duthie of TSN, saying: “I’m thrilled. Gives me another chance to win a Cup.”
The 27-year-old is coming off a down year with 18 goals and 44 points in 81 games, a 15-point drop from the previous season.
The trade with the Kings was the second major move of the day for the Bruins -- coming hours before the start of the draft in Sunrise, Fla. New Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney earlier traded defenseman Dougie Hamilton to Calgary for three draft choices, including the Flames’ first-round selection at No. 15.
Get our high school sports newsletter
Prep Rally is devoted to the SoCal high school sports experience, bringing you scores, stories and a behind-the-scenes look at what makes prep sports so popular.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.