Milan Lucic sends handshake message that, while it's not cool to bully, it's okay to threaten to kill
Based on his on-ice performance on Wednesday night, one might legimately ask who really penned Not Cool to Bully in School. According to the cover, the book was written by Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic, with help from Jon Goode and Cleon Daskalakis. Available for purchase at www.notcooltobully.com/, it encourages children to “Read and learn about his journey as a young hockey player that taught him the core values to let him follow his dreams.”
Presumably, those core values include following long-established codes of conduct. Like (and I’m quoting @Steve_Dangle): “If testes are near give them a spear.”
And, even more egregiously, using the handshake that comes after the final game of a series to act like a complete asshat.
As those who watched the Montreal Canadiens defeat the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night are probably aware, Lucic isn’t exactly going to win the Jarome Iginla award for the classiest man in hockey. He is however a new frontrunner in the category of Man Most Likely to Unseat Brad Marchand as the Most Hated Man in Hockey.
Unless you count flexing his muscles at Montreal’s P.K. Subban on the bench, and beating his chest like an enraged ape after scoring empy net goals, Lucic didn’t do much of anything in the series. He did plenty to get himself noticed in the postgame handshake.
One of the most time-honoured traditions in hockey (and the strangest in professional sports), the handshake that comes at the end of a series is where players prove that they are indeed the gentlemen who arrive at the arena wearing suits, as opposed to the toothless knuckle-draggers you often see on the ice.
It’s where, having just done horrible things to each other in a protracted war, players put down their weapons and congratulate each other for a battle well-waged. At the end of the Boston-Montreal series, you had Shawn Thornton wishing Subban well, despite the fact they’d spent the previous two weeks in a vicious back-alley brawl (this including Thorton being fined by the NHL for squirting water on Subban and visor from the bench in Game 5.)
It was all good until you got to Lucic meeting Canadiens fourth-liner Dale Weise in the lineup. Weise managed to get under Lucic’s skin in the series, mocking the Bruins’ chest-beating routine after scoring a goal in Game 6, and aping his arm-flexing in scrums on the ice.
The hockey code dictates that Lucic congratulate the better man for having won. Instead, he took the opportunity to look at Weise and utter what the Canadiens forward described later as disrespectful things. Lucic then reportedly uttered the same threat to Montreal’s defenceman Alexei Emelin.
In a postgame locker-room interview, an agitated Lucic told reporters it was none of their business asking what he said, arguing that what happens on the ice stays on the ice.
Weise also declined to get into specifics, but sports analysts and trained lip-readers have reported that his message was this: “I’m going to fucking kill you next year.”
As he skated away from the Canadiens, Lucic reportedly then winked at the camera and said, “Don’t forget to pick up your copy of Not Cool to Bully in School”.