Let me start off by saying that I am not condoning what Milan Lucic said, but as a player it’s clear to me that Montreal Canadiens forward Dale Weise crossed the line. What happens on the ice, stays on the ice; it has always been that way.
In case you missed it, after the Canadiens upset the Boston Bruins in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Lucic had some choice words for Weise as they went through the handshake line.
“I’m going to f***ing kill you next year,” Lucic said to Weise.
At first glance, this is a pretty serious offense. The ceremonial handshake at the end of the series is usually one of the more beautiful moments in the sport, but every so often, something like this happens.
It was later discovered that Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov told Lucic to look his players in the eye when shaking hands, which most likely rattled Lucic as he approached Weise.
Now, anyone that has watched Lucic play couldn’t have been too surprised at his comments, and anyone who has ever gone through a handshake line in hockey knows that it’s not always so friendly.
The ol’ “good game, good game, good game, f*** you, good game, good game…” is still alive and well. I’ve done it, you’ve done it, it’s just a part of hockey.
What bothered me the most is the media making such a big deal out of this “death threat.” Come on, I can guarantee that there were much worse things said on the ice during the series. Honestly, what Lucic told Weise was rated PG for most of the chirping that takes place during a game.
People need to understand what Lucic was trying to do, and that’s get inside Weise’s head, which I guarantee he did because Weise went crying to the media about it after the game.
The Bruins and Canadiens are one of the most historic rivalries in the NHL, which means that these two teams will meet often over the next few years. Every time Weise steps on the ice against the Bruins, he’s going to be looking for Lucic. It’s not like Lucic is a 5-foot-10, 200 pound finesse player, either.
Lucic is 6-foot-4, 235 pounds and one of the toughest and most fearless guys in today’s game. Other players are scared of him and I have proof.
In 2011, Lucic ran over Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller as he came out to play the puck, which is a pretty serious infraction that usually leads to a fight or two. Watch how the Sabres players react:
The look on the Sabres’ players as they go after Lucic is priceless. Thomas Vanek, who you could tell wasn’t psyched about having to be the first one in, gets rag dolled by Lucic from a light shove. Then, it’s up to Andrej Sekera to go after Lucic, but his altercation doesn’t pan out too well either.
Point is, Lucic is a big, bad man and Weise will be looking for him in the future.
I’ll say it again, I’m not condoning what Lucic said in the handshake line, but I do know why he did it; however, the biggest problem I have with the situation is how Weise handled it.
After the game, Weise went crying to the media about how he was “threatened” by Lucic. Really? Many believe that hockey players are the toughest athletes in the world and you’re going to tell the media that you were threatened in the handshake line?
This wouldn’t even be a story had Weise kept what was said on the ice between him and Lucic.
I have no problem with players calling out other players for dirty hits or cheap shots that occur during a game. For example, it was interesting to hear how players felt about Todd Bertuzzi’s career-ending cheap shot on Steve Moore. In 1996, Dino Ciccarelli gave us one of the best sound bites in NHL history after telling the media how he felt about Claude Lemieux.
These were situations that deserved to be talked about because they involved plays that injured teammates. The saying isn’t “sticks and stones may break my bones, but when I hear bad words I tell the press.”
Be a man, Dale. Laugh it off and pour yourself a glass of champagne for upsetting the President Trophy winners, don’t cry to the cameras about how classless Lucic is.
Lucic was confronted about Weise’s comments and called him a “baby” for saying what he did. Well Milan, I agree.
What’s said on the ice, stays on the ice.