Lucic walked into that one

Wind-Up Wednesday


By now most of you have heard about the incident between Boston Bruin's Milan Lucic and a disgruntled Canucks fan in Vancouver on Saturday night after Lucic left a bar.

Clearly Lucic (who's originally from East Vancouver) wasn't doing any celebrating since the Canucks beat the Bruins 6-2 on Saturday, but one thing that was clear from the video going viral was that Lucic was intoxicated.

Now who started the incident is still up in the air, but if you take Lucic's word for it, he was attacked (unprovoked) by the Canucks' fan and had to restrain himself basically from beating the tar out of the guy who was half his size.

"I did everything I could to restrain myself and not retaliate," Lucic told Vancouver reporter Steve Ewen.

"I have no reason left to defend my city and the people in my city. I'm disgusted and outraged."

He also said he'll never visit downtown Vancouver again unless it's to play at Rogers Arena.

But aside from the whole "Vancouver Canucks fans suck" angle everyone else outside of B.C. seems to be taking from this non-newsworthy story, how many people are asking why Lucic put himself into a position to be attacked?

Yes, Lucic is a Vancouver boy and used to be one of the city's hockey heroes back when he played for the Vancouver Giants. His family still lives there, his fiancÉ is from there, so why shouldn't he get to go out on the town for some drinks after a game?

After all, it's his hometown.

I'll tell you why - because since Lucic started playing for the Bruins, he hasn't done much to keep Vancouver's love and loyalty. In fact, he did the opposite long before Boston beat Vancouver in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final (which led to the crazy hatred that you can now find between both teams and fan bases).

People say he started to get arrogant when he came back to town to visit, and there are numerous reports of him being a jerk to Vancouver fans who approached him for a photo or autograph. Word spread, and his reputation began to worsen.

After the Stanley Cup Final of 2011, things got a whole lot worse and I don't really have to explain why.

Perhaps the hatred between the Canucks and Bruins has grown since 2011. It's well known that's the case between the fans of the two teams, and neither side is quiet or shy about it either.

So why Lucic thought it'd be uneventful to go out downtown on Saturday is a mystery. Again, he hasn't exactly been like Joe Sakic and kept the love of his hometown warm and strong. If anything it's been the opposite, and Lucic's character on and off the ice is a big part of that.

Granville Street in Vancouver is a complete train wreck after dark, especially on weekends, when the street is literally shut down so drunkards and bar-goers can dally across the road without getting hit by a car (which used to happen all the time until they blocked the roads off at night).

It's a place where, on any normal night, people look for trouble. Fights break out on the regular, even more so on weekends or game nights, and there's always a heavy police presence because there has to be.

Basically, once the bars close, Granville Street is not a place you want to be.

For some reason, Lucic figured that it'd be fine to go drinking on Granville, on a Saturday, after a Canucks/Bruins game, in a city that hates the Bruins, whose downtown core was absolutely suffocating with intoxicated Canucks fans who were happy to see their team beat Boston.

And here comes drunk Milan Lucic, a Boston Bruin, strolling out of a bar on Granville surrounded by drunk, Boston-hating revved up Canucks fans; Lucic, who's no longer seen as a Vancouver Giant, but as a Boston Bruin.

Basically he walked right into a hornet's nest.

So while I'm not saying he deserved the assault (of course he didn't), Lucic should've known better than to go out on a busy Saturday night in those circumstances; in a city that hates his hockey team with the fires of 1,000 suns, in a part of town with a high-drunken-idiot percentage.

Hometown or not, most Vancouverites don't embrace Lucic as one of their own anymore; for a while now, he's been sleeping with the enemy and acting like a jerk along the way. Maybe he was in denial of that fact; maybe he saw himself as invisible or not as one of the Bruins; maybe he thought the birthplace on his passport overrides the logo on his jersey. Who knows?

But what we do know is he likely learned his lesson after Saturday.

It's hard to have sympathy for the guy when he should've had a bit more common sense. What's next? He'll head to the Boston Zoo and walk into the lion enclosure yelling, "Do you know who I am??" (a line he's used a few times in his past) and expect not to get attacked?

It's just not smart. Imagine Todd Bertuzzi went out partying in Colorado after the Steve Moore incident? Of course that didn't happen; that would've been a really dumb idea.

Catch my drift?

So while the rest of the NHL world jumps on Vancouver and its fans again for this attack on poor, defenceless, delicate Milan Lucic, maybe take a step back and wonder why he thought he could hang out in a hornet's nest and not get stung.

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