LOWELL, Mass. — Being a Stanley Cup champion hasn't gone to Milan Lucic's head. The burly Bruins winger showed that by patiently posing for pictures with fans at his annual Rock & Jock Celebrity Softball Game at LeLacheur Park on Wednesday.
But something new is filling Lucic's head these days, and Lucic is glad that a little more air is getting in after undergoing nasal surgery to finally fix a nose that's been broken multiple times.
"The nose is good," Lucic said before his charity game. "I got that fixed, which is great. I wasn't able to breathe out of my right nostril, so that kind of sucked. It's like a refreshing feeling right now to be able to get more oxygen intake through my nose."
Lucic's signature crooked beak developed its look with a series of collisions with sticks, fists and boards over the course of his first four seasons in Boston, but the biggest hit came courtesy of a Colton Orr right hand in a heavyweight bout back on March 4, 2010.
"It actually happened at the end of the 2009-10 season, so I played the whole season last year with it," Lucic said. "Near the end it started to become a real pain. I started to get sinus infections and stuff like that, so that was tough to deal with. That's why I decided right after we were done that it was time to get it fixed."
Lucic wasn't able to get his other ailment fixed. The broken toe on his right foot has improved since Lucic was injured by a Tyler Seguin slap shot in practice between Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference Final, but it won't be fully healed without surgery, and that's not an option Lucic wants to pursue at this point.
"It's pretty funny," Lucic said. "It's pretty destroyed. There's a little bit of pain in there, I'm not going to lie. But there's nothing you can really do about it. If I was to get it fixed with surgery I'd be out for three months. I don't really think that's worth it right now."
Despite the pain, Lucic doesn't expect the injured toe to affect him too much this season as he tries to build off the career-high 30 goals and 62 points he collected last year.
"Not so much anymore because a lot of the swelling is gone," Lucic said. "As far as being on the ice, I've gone a couple times and everything feels good."