Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic celebrates his goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the third period of their NHL hockey game last November. (REUTERS)
Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic didn't take kindly to being called out by Detroit Red Wings executive Jimmy Devellano last week.
Devellano compared locked-out NHL players to cattle and singled out Lucic, who he said should be "grateful" after recently signing a three-year, $18 million extension with the Bruins. Devellano was fined by the NHL for speaking out of turn.
On Monday, Lucic took the high road when asked about Devellano's comments.
"I guess I must be Grade A prime beef," Lucic told CSSNE.com. "I think we're pretty good cattle if you're looking at it that way. You definitely as a person don't like to be called 'cattle.' You'd think people would treat you better than as just an animal. I'm not going to say anything to disrespect him. But he said what he said and I kind of laughed at it.
"He singled me out and I don't know where or why he even singled me out. For me from an athlete's perspective you look at him and what he's done in his hockey career, and respect what he's done for the game."
Earlier, San Jose Sharks winger Martin Havlat said Devellano's comparison of the players to livestock didn't surprise him.
"We're not shocked at being called 'cattle,'" Havlat said. "I can tell you the players have been called a lot worse by some of the guys on the other side. It's just never been reported publicly. I think it helps that the fans get to hear what we already know. We're not humans in their eyes; we're just pieces of meat that get to eat some grass for awhile."