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Peter Chiarelli: ‘If I could find another Milan Lucic, I’d be very pleased’ 12.19.11 at 8:49 pm ET
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Bruins fans can rest easy.

The team’s general manager made it clear Monday night he’s not about to change the way he builds his roster based on a one-game suspension of one of his higher profile players.

Peter Chiarelli said Monday he understands what Brendan Shanahan was doing by handing out a one-game suspension for Milan Lucic for the hit-from-behind on Zac Rinaldo on Saturday in Philadelphia. There’s a history there with Lucic and the Bruins have skated from possible suspensions on transgressions from Brad Marchand and Adam McQuaid in the last two weeks.

But not this time.

Still, Chiarelli wants to be clear. The Bruins will still be big and bad.

“It’€™s one game, for one thing, so I’€™m not going to react to that,” Chiarelli said minutes before the game Lucic missed with the Canadiens. “We went into the year with the new rule changes thinking that we were going to be a little more heavily scrutinized. We might have even played a heavier game in the playoffs, and, again, people were clamoring that we got away with stuff, and maybe we did, maybe we didn’€™t. But that’€™s the way we built the team, and I’€™m going to continue to build it that way.

“I mean, hey, if I could find another Milan Lucic, I’€™d be very pleased. I think everyone in the league would want a player like that. No, we won’€™t stray from how we built it, and we’€™ll continue to put the pieces in that have some character and have some toughness.

Chiarelli said he spoke with the top judge in the NHL operations office on Monday, getting the full explanation of the discipline.

“I talked to Brendan Shanahan today following his sanction on Milan, the one-game suspension, and what was explained to me was that when there have been incidents before with a player, they look at the whole body of work,” Chiarelli said. “I don’€™t know if it’€™s as strong as being a repeat offender, but he’€™s done stuff in the past, according to hockey ops, that go to his character reference when they’€™re looking at putting up punishment. Brendan didn’€™t say this, but if it was his first incident, I would think maybe he wouldn’€™t have been suspended. Brendan didn’€™t say that, but that’€™s my take on the whole thing.

“If you go back and see what Milan has done, to me, it’€™s pretty unremarkable, but they obviously look at everything.”

But Chiarelli, to his credit, did itemize the list of misdeeds that led up to Monday’s suspension.

“I think he got a suspension against [Maxim] Lapierre, he got the fine against Freddy Meyer, he got a warning on [Ryan] Miller, and this,” Chiarelli said. “I might have been missing one, but he didn’€™t get any other warnings. You wouldn’€™t know of warnings because, short of a fine, they don’€™t publicize that. I agree with the global objective of addressing player safety, and if the body of work means that now he’€™s in that, again, not ‘€œrepeat offender,’€ but the ‘€œrepeat concerns,’€ I guess, however you want to characterize it, then if that’€™s what it is, that’€™s what it is. Obviously I support the league’€™s attempt at addressing player safety.

“And I think Milan might have explained to you, and he actually, if you look at it closely, I feel that he has, he did change his game, so to speak, on that check. I thought he stopped skating. If you looked at his left arm going in, I thought he tried to lever him so that he could hit him in the crest, and I don’€™t think he hit him as hard as he normally does. Milan’€™s a guy who’€™s led our team in hits, I think, since he’€™s been here, and he’€™s very rarely been penalized with boarding, hit from behind ‘€“ the roughing stuff. He’€™s a clean player, and that’€™s what the law is now, so we’€™ll abide by it.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Brendan Shanahan, Milan Lucic, NHL
Bruins-Canadiens Live Blog: Brad Marchand increases lead at 6:46 pm ET
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Bruins-Canadiens Live Blog

Read More: Benoit Pouliot, Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Milan Lucic
Video: Brendan Shanahan explains Milan Lucic suspension, says history influenced decision at 3:06 pm ET
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Courtesy of NHL.com, here’s the video of NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan breaking down Milan Lucic‘s one-game suspension. Shanahan says that the fact that Lucic is a repeat offender influenced the decision.

“While this hit is not particularly egregious, it is illegal,” Shanahan said of Lucic’s hit from behind on Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo. “However, the overriding factor in elevating this check from behind from a penalty on the ice to a suspension is his history of similar infractions, warnings and a fine.

Read More: Milan Lucic, Zac Rinaldo,
Bruins-Maple Leafs Live Blog: Milan Lucic scores second of the night 11.30.11 at 7:01 pm ET
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Bruins-Maple Leafs Live Blog

Read More: Mikhail Grabovski, Milan Lucic,
Ryan Miller: Neck pain, not concussion from Milan Lucic hit 11.28.11 at 4:04 pm ET
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Over two weeks ago, Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller made headlines when he publicly complained after Bruins forward Milan Lucic charged into him in the first period of the Bruins Nov. 12 win. The hit was so hard that it knocked Miller’s mask off, and Miller was removed from the game after the second period.

The team said at the time that Miller had a concussion. Miller later revealed that the team released that information as part of a bid to get Lucic suspended.

But NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan did not suspend or fine Lucic, and Miller has yet to play in a game since the hit. On Monday, Miller was on the ice in Buffalo before practice taking some shots and said he hoped to return to regular practices soon. Miller also noted that he doesn’t think he suffered a concussion, saying it was more of a neck injury related to a disc problem.

“I feel good symptom-wise,” Miller told the Buffalo News. “It was more neck and something where I aggravated a disc in my neck pretty good and we had an MRI and CT-scan showing that which kind of backed that up and was the source of a lot of the tension and a lot of the discomfort.”

Read More: Milan Lucic, Ryan Miller,
Bruins-Sabres Live Blog: Headed to shootout 11.23.11 at 7:02 pm ET
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Bruins-Sabres Live Blog

Read More: Milan Lucic, Paul Gaustad, Ryan Miller, T.J. Brennan
Lindy Ruff: Lack of response ‘won’t happen again’ at 3:22 pm ET
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Sabres coach Lindy Ruff told reporters after Wednesday’s morning skate that the Sabres are more focused on playing a “hard game” than on providing an overdue response to Milan Lucic‘s hit on goaltender Ryan Miller earlier this month.

Asked if retaliation was on the Sabres’ minds, Ruff replied, “I don’t think [NHL disciplinarian Brendan] Shanahan would like to hear that.”

Though Ruff was brief with his answers, he did indicate that if something similar were to happen, he would expect more of a response from his team. Lucic hit Miller in the first period on Nov. 12, leaving the goaltender with a concussion.

“I’ll answer the question one more time,” Ruff said. “We were disappointed in our response, and that won’t happen again.”

The Bruins have won nine games in a row, and now have as many points (24) as the Sabres. With both teams two points behind the Maple Leafs and focused on moving up, Ruff steered away from talk of retaliation and said he’s more concerned with his team coming out hard.

“We have to play a real hard game,” he said. “That would be the message tonight.”

Read More: Brendan Shanahan, Lindy Ruff, Milan Lucic, Ryan Miller
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