Lucic excited by deal, worried by lockout

Winger Milan Lucic re-upped with the Boston Bruins on Saturday, receiving a handsome reward for his five seasons in Black and Gold with a three-year, $18 million contract extension.

Lucic has one year remaining on his current deal, and is definitely excited about his pay raise. But

he -- like many other NHLers -- is wondering when he will play again. The deadline to avoid another NHL lockout is at 11:59 p.m. Saturday night, and as of Saturday afternoon, the NHL and NHLPA still remained far apart in negotiations with no further meetings planned.

"Obviously it's definitely an exciting day for myself," Lucic said Saturday in a teleconference with Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli to announce his new contract. "As far as the union stuff goes, obviously a lot of stuff still needs to be sorted out and hopefully things will heat up in these next couple of weeks in sorting the NHL out. There's some type of concern.

"There's not much more comments or info I can make that would be significant than what you've heard from [union head] Don [Fehr] and [NHL commissioner] Gary [Bettman] and in their press conferences that they had a couple of days ago. There's obviously a little bit of concern, but right now all you can do is stay optimistic and stay positive and hope that a deal will get done."

Many NHLers are already arranging deals to play elsewhere during the lockout, but Lucic hasn't put his agent to work yet and was still holding out hope something would be resolved soon and the NHL season would start on time.

"As of right now, I have not," Lucic answered when asked if he has looked into other playing options. "I know I told some of the guys yesterday that my plan was to play for the Boston Bruins this year and right now it's the same. Obviously if it goes on longer than most of us expect, then I'll have to look into something, but as of right now, I have not looked into playing elsewhere."